Dear Crazy Legs,
These are some thing that your folks and others who love you know. We are happy to share our hard-won knowledge with you because you're very adorable even though you poop in your pants.
1. If your shrimp scampi or chicken piccata or whatever is coming out more sour than buttery-lemony, add lemon zest and more salt than you think you'd need, and use less juice.
2. For perfectly steamed asparagus, wrap a medium to large bunch in 5 or 6 paper towels, run under the tap, place on plate and microwave for 4 minutes. Be careful when removing because towels will be Hot Hot Hot!
3. To get tinny taste out of homemade tomato sauce, add a teensy pinch of baking soda to the mix.
4. If you do the Jaws sound (duh-nuh, duh-nuh) while you slowly move in to kiss your 4-month-old, he will soon start grinning as soon as he hears the sound.
5. Apply the gel back to front, and then work it through your hair evenly.
6. Anytime you go to OSH, Home Depot, Lowes, etc., always take the part you want to replace with you.
7. Apply more pressure with your fingers to get good movement on your 2-seam fastball.
8. When you're hanging stuff, always have a level, a pencil and nail-hole filler close by.
9. When you take something apart, lay the pieces down logically. The ability to put something back together from memory isn't in the Engel genes.
10. If a girl tells you she doesn't want to be in a relationship, she may or may not want to be in a relationship. If a boy tells you he doesn't want to be in a relationship, he's telling the truth.
11. You should never love people who like F. Scott Fitzgerald more than Ernest Hemingway. There's something missing from their souls. (11a. Girls who say they don't like Hemingway because he's an anti-semite or a misogynist are lazy and missing the point.)
12. People who drive Mustangs are assholes.
13. Don't be a Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda (Auntie Kala)
14. Don't live your life for a resume (Auntie Kala)
15. Don't buy white trash cans or coffee pots.
16. We're a family who drinks. If you want to cut to the chase sans gag reflex, you need to know how to mix a good Long Island Iced Tea. Put in plenty of the white boozes (equal parts vodka, gin, tequila and rum), a splash of triple sec and a hearty dose of sweet & sour. Don't fear the sweet & sour! If the glass is too full of booze get a bigger glass. It's SUPPOSED to taste like iced tea but with a really happy ending. Oh! Almost forgot-- top with a splash of coke. Trust me on this one. All the sugar in the sweet & sour and coke is gonna get you that much more fucked up. Good times! (Auntie J)
17. When you wake up on the bathroom floor the next morning (I told you those Long Islands would be good), you'll need to look decent for work. I know just the trick, Little Man. Generously apply Tuck's medicated pads to the huge black pouches under your red, swollen eyes. They'll take down the swelling and you'll look human again in no time! (Auntie J)
18. Always dress nicely when you travel. People will treat you differently. (Auntie Justine)