Saturday, July 31, 2010

People who love cats more than I do are on their way. I should probably put pants on.

This whole working at night thing blows the big one. I am - of course - grateful to even HAVE a job. But working until 2am or later and then passing out on the sofa sometime around 4am is just brutal. Today when I finally managed to wake up at 10:15am, I was a fucking mess. My eyes are all puffy, my legs are all achy, and my neck is all stiff. Just because I work until 2am doesn't mean that I lie around before my shift resting up - and I have to go back tonight so really it's not as though I would have time to catch up today. So I basically lived a full day with two kids and guests from out of town and eating and driving and sightseeing and having fun - and then at the very end of a long and fun packed sunburn-y day, just when everyone else is contemplating a long hot shower, a glass of wine, and an hour in bed with a book - I head to work and start lugging tables and washing dishes and making drinks and getting my hair blown back by some crazy electronic funk-rock until 2am.

I Am Too Old For This Shit.

And today, you know - now that I am awake, I have to clean my house.

I have to clean my house because my friends - the ones who REALLY LOVE THEIR CATS - are on their way back to Maui. When they flew back to the midwest to find the missing indoor cats that they thought were outdoors, the cats were found hiding in the house (that's right - they did not get out after all) and their clever ploy to get mommy and daddy to come home instead of taking a vacation has FAILED MISERABLY. Now, not only are mommy and daddy STILL LEAVING THEM, but now the cats are in a kennel so they can't pull that kind of shit any more. And even if they did - it's totally not gonna work.

Karma is a bitch, kitties.

Tonight I am doing it all over again - full day, dinner shift, and then instead of hanging at the bar I return home to a houseful of completely shit-faced poker players. I should really put on some pants and go clean the living room. Our bedroom is a lost cause, but I think I can get the living room in order. Sort of.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In which Daffodil discovers that she isn't much of an animal lover


So tonight I was supposed to greet our friends at the airport. I had big plans to feed them a fabulous dinner, and spend a long relaxing evening over cocktails while the children frolicked, as we are wont to do when we vacation together.

This morning, over a leisurely breakfast, I picked up the phone and called to see what kind of cereal they liked so that I could have some at the rental house.

And Oh My God did I get more than I bargained for.

Long story short, I never did get the name of their favorite cereal. What I got instead was a chaotic, long distance, heart-rending announcement. They weren't coming.

They had indeed boarded the plane with their traveling companions. And at some point they got a phone call, or picked up a voicemail, and got some very upsetting news from the housesitter. Their indoor cats appeared to have gotten OUT. They were no longer INDOOR CATS. And they were missing. And they needed to be found. And so my friends disembarked, and instead of flying west towards paradise, they headed east. Towards.......the midwest.

Not exactly what I had in mind. Not exactly what any of us had in mind.

It is hard for me to relate. Here's why. This is a transcript of the directions I left for our housesitter when we went on vacation:
"Hey there,

Welcome and Aloha. Thank you SO MUCH for staying here and keeping an eye on things. We really appreciate it !

The mail comes every day at about 3pm, please don't leave it in the box overnight because I guess people keep stealing mail and accepting credit card offers. Though god knows they would never get one using our credit, unless it was a secured card which kind of defeats the purpose of stealing someone's identity, I think.

The extra toilet paper and soap are in the closet on the porch. So are the garbage bags and the dish soap. Trash pick up is Monday and Thursday at dawn. It sucks. If you forget to put out the trash, don't worry, you will have plenty of time when they wake you up as they drive down the street in reverse with the beeping warning system going off. Fuckers. Probably think it's funny. We didn't leave them a case of beer this year like we usually do because we are not fans of this new approach to garbage collection.

Thanks also for watching the dogs. This is so sweet of you. I hope they don't give you any trouble. They are kind of assholes. If they get out and run away, just call the Humane Society and DON'T WORRY. If they become too much of a hassle (they really are assholes), take them to the kennel up the road - our credit card is on file. Please do not stress out over the dogs, seriously. Just feed them every day and make sure they have fresh water, and you will have done good. And if something DOES happen, for the love of god, don't call us. We won't be able to do much from overseas. And if they get sick or injured, no heroic measures. We don't have pet health insurance and we just took two weeks of unpaid leave.
You're awesome.

So when I finally understood through the sobbing that they were not coming here for a week of vacation because the cats got out, needless to say it was a revelation for me.

Because seriously, someone could tell me my KID was missing, and I would have to really think hard about whether I needed to rush home and help in the search efforts. I mean, how pissed would I be if I cancelled a trip and returned home and it turned out they had just gone to a friend's house for the night? Really pissed.

(Obviously, I'm joking. Kind of. But seriously, I think of myself as a loving and compassionate person. I do. No I really do. Are you LAUGHING AT ME? HOW DARE YOU?)

I am a loving and compassionate person. But no missing cat (or dog, or hamster, or goldfish - though I don't think those go missing much) would cause me to cancel a vacation. No illness or injury of a pet would cause me a moment of lost sleep. I am not putting myself into debt running diagnostic tests or undergoing rigorous protocol or paying for expensive medications for my pets. I just wouldn't. I adopted them from the Humane Society, so they could live a life outside of a cage, free of pain and discomfort, however long that might be. I want to give them a lot of love and healthy food for as long as they too are healthy and full of love. And then?'s off to the big Humane Society in the sky, I guess.

And I guess by a lot of people's measure, that makes me callous and heartless and cold and mean.

Knowing that about myself, having that so clearly illustrated today, kind of hurt a little. Are my friends - who literally dropped everything, left their luggage on a plane, left their friends in their seats, cancelled a vacation with no refunds and went through the emotional ringer in the middle of the airport because of 2 missing cats - are they kinder people? Better people? More compassionate and loving?

Clearly. Without question, yes they are. Those cats? They love them like their children. Some people just really love animals. So I guess I am more of an animal "liker", than an animal "lover".

And I have to come to terms with that.

So yes, while it would be wonderful if my friends were here, and even though I am totally bummed that they didn't come, I know they wouldn't have been able to enjoy it while their cats were missing. And I might not understand loving an animal so much, but I can definitely respect the love and emotion and concern they are feeling right now. Because they must really love those damn cats, to give up this:

**these are not my photos they are from promotional materials and I will replace them when I have photos of my own. Tomorrow. When I will be lying by that pool, trying to become more compassionate.**

AND P.S.: THE CATS ARE FINE AND SAFE WITH THEIR MOMMY. As soon as she got home from her frantic return trip she found them and everyone is reunited and it feels so good. But I think it would feel better if they were in Hawaii right now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let me entertain you

We have guests coming tomorrow. I am sitting here in my kitchen - dark and warm, with the refrigerator humming and the dog outside running in his sleep - after a dinner shift at work. I've got my elbows on the butcher block, and a legal pad in front of me, and I'm making a grocery list.

I love having guests. I especially love having guests for dinner. I ESPECIALLY especially love cooking dinner for guests in a beautiful rental house with a gourmet kitchen and a pool for the children to frolic in until they are called up onto the big porch for dinner.

And tomorrow, I get to do all of the above. Have guests. Cook for them. In a big fancy kitchen. With a pool just outside perfect for swimming and floating and resting and cooling our heels figuratively and literally.

On Maui, of course. Heavenly.

But first the grocery list. The guests, and the friends of the guests, insisted that this wasn't necessary. But at the risk of making them uncomfortable I am going to do it anyway. Dammit. I am putting my foot down. I mean, can you imagine anything worse then getting off a 6 hour flight and waiting for your luggage with your kids and then going to pick up your rental car and trying to fit all the bags inside, and then driving to a grocery store and trying to buy food and then trying to find the rental house on strange roads and then having to COOK SOMETHING?

A lot of times, I don't know better. But this time, I do.

I know they will arrive sleepy and dehydrated after a long flight. The children will be cranky and hungry and bored and tired of being all cooped up on an airplane. They want to go play in that pool and lie around on the porch and maybe watch a movie or something. And so I am buying groceries and getting things ready and I will be waiting at the airport and it's no trouble at all and I am sure you would do the same. Wouldn't you? Of course. Of course you would.

I am thinking homemade mac and cheese for the kids, and salads with grilled ahi for the grownups. I am making a mango-pineapple salsa for snacking.

Yes. That will be perfect. I hope I don't fuck it up, It would be nice to be right for once.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Like a punch to the gut

I am not exactly sure how much I have shared here about our adventures in infertility.

The process of becoming parents was not an easy one.

And the challenges continue, apparently.

Today, while I was squatting on my kitchen floor scrubbing the burner grills in a bucket (which was, granted, a vulnerable position) Lucy came into the kitchen and asked me a few questions. When she left the kitchen 5 minutes later, I was sitting on the floor taking deep breaths and trying to hold it together.

It is amazing to me that a 5 year old could slay me so thoroughly. Could leave me spinning and grasping for straws, trying to piece together an explaination that was honest and would stand the test of time - but was simple enough for her to understand.

I thought I had already covered this with her. I thought it was all clear and understood and accepted.

But when my daughter asked if I had bought her from somewhere........well........I hadn't expected that.

The fact is, no money was exchanged. So it was simple enough - once I had stopped choking - to answer that. No, I did not buy you somewhere. You know that.

Max didn't grow in your belly, did he? The question was asked with a searching look. Eyes locked on mine. Waiting for an answer that I was afraid would break. her. heart.

Yes, yes he did. It was very hard, and it took a lot of medicine, and a lot of doctors, and I had big black bruises on my tummy, and daddy had to give me shots every day, and I had to be in the hospital part of the time and I was very very sick before and after he grew there. But yes, I did grow him in my belly.

So why, then, why did I not grow in your belly? It was a simple question. And the answer is not so simple. The answer is I. don't. know. I did all the same things, used the same needles and the same medicine and went to the hospital and tried so hard SO FUCKING HARD and you could not grow there. And my heart was as broken as my belly, baby, when you couldn't. Broken. I was broken all over, bruises bigger then those massive black ones on my belly and my legs and my arms.

So you just picked me up somewhere? No sweetie, we didn't, we got the most wonderful phone call a mommy and a daddy could ever get, and we went to the hospital and held you and looked at all of your little fingers and toes and admired your beautiful blue eyes and your not-so-beautiful rashy skin and we sat there and stared and shook our heads in amazement that it could be so simple and so easy and so right, and right then and there you made all of the broken parts of me better.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beer and sprinklers

I had a plan. I did.

Today had been declared Beer and Sprinkler Day, wherein I would drink beer and the kids would play in the sprinkler.

It would have been great, had it not started to rain. And the wind had not started to blow.
The beer was really good though.

The day wasn't a total loss, however. Earlier, we made a quick trip to town, visiting Walmart and, of course, mecca (aka Whole Foods) in order to get the necessary supplies. Walmart makes me feel shitty. Kind of the polar opposite of the beauty of Whole Foods. Everyone looks sort of green under the flourescent lights, it smells weird, like chemicals and plastic and laundry detergent, and everything just seems kind of.....yucky.

But I needed new sunblock and Max was buying some LEGOs. What's a girl gonna do. She's gotta go to the Walmart.

With the LEGOs chosen and placed reverently in the cart, we went over to review our options for sun protection. Sprays, mists, creams, tubes and bottles......we were there for a while. As I stood in the aisle reading packages, I realized that the woman next to me was cracking open one bottle of the store brand moisturizer after another, pumping a few squirts of cream into her hand, rubbing it in to her body - first her hands, then her forearms and up to her elbows, eventually working her way slowly up her arms to her shoulders. Totally slow and methodical and creepy.

The first time she did it, I thought it was a sample bottle. Then I watched her squirt lotion all over the outside of the bottle while she seemed to be holding down and twisting the pump, as though she was going to close the bottle and just put it back on the shelf. She proceed to wipe it off the bottle with her hands, twisting her fingers around the neck of the bottle and wiping the lotion off the sides, rubbing it all into her skin.


I stood there in horror. I mean, I am pretty sure that breaks every health code EVER, and that this woman was indeed the REASON WE NEED HEALTH CODES. Because while to you and to me it seems obvious that you do not open random bottles, use the contents, and then seal them up to be sold to someone else, apparently that is not a universal code of conduct vis a vis health and beauty products.

Then she gathered up two or three bottles of lotion, and walk away with them.

"That is fucking WEIRD" I thought to myself. "What the hell does she need with all of that crappy lotion?"

But before I could complete the thought, SHE WAS BACK. And SHE DID IT AGAIN. I swear to god. It was so outrageous, I was looking for the hidden camera and the giggling TV host. There she was, opening a bottle of the store brand lotion, pumping some into her hand, rubbing it all over her hands and arms, and then pressing down, squirting lotion everywhere, and closing the bottle. And then she picked up THAT bottle of lotion..........which is when we made eye contact.

I can't honestly say whether my look was horror or disgust or confusion - I had no idea what was going on and frankly, I didn't think I wanted to know. All I can say is, that was a shit-ton of lotion that she applied to her arms in the aisle of Walmart, so she must have some really dry skin.

We decided that I didn't need any nasty Walmart sunblock - we hightailed it out of there and made a beeline for Whole Foods, where I wandered the aisles smelling the pretty smells and admiring the fanciness of it all and basically trying to purge the Walmart experience from my psyche.
Then I bought a bunch of lunch meat, and went home to sit under the sprinkler and drink beer in cut offs and a tank top. See, while I like to pretend that Walmart creeps me out, I guess we all know that deep down inside it fulfills a certain weird and twisted purpose. As long as I am not smearing myself with lotion in the aisles of my local box store retailer, I am doing all right.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell

I realized the other day that I don't ask people a lot of questions. It's not that I'm not curious - the questions exist inside me - but rather, that I do not want to intrude.

Or maybe, that I am too shy to assume that my interest would be welcome. I mean, is there anything worse then someone you don't really care for, and would like to avoid, asking you a bunch of probing questions? (Any girl who has been to a bar can answer that.)

And that maybe, just maybe, I don't want to know the answers. I won't know what to do with the information. How to respond. Perhaps I am content with the not knowing, because my imagination serves me just fine, or because the truth hurts........I'm not sure. What I do know is that sometimes people ask questions and are complete unprepared for the response. And I don't want to be that guy.

Is it the respondants responsiblity to cushion the blow when providing an answer that might make people uncomfortable? To make the questioner feel less awkward? To try to make light of a situation that is clearly.................not? When I am asked a question, and I know the answer is not at all what is expected, I always hesitate. Consider glossing over the details. Coming up with something clever to deflect the question, and hope it doesn't come around again.

Because some of my answers are doozies. I'm not gonna lie to you. I can make you regret that you EVER ASKED.

Even the most innocent, innocuous questions can open up a whole well of emotion - sometimes good, sometimes awful. From "Where did you get that shirt?" to "How did you get that scar?" the answers range from soft sweet memories to harrowing tales of injury and heartbreak. (And surprisingly, in my personal experience, the tales of injury and heartbreak are connected to the t-shirt. The scar is kind of a funny story.)

When I was younger, and first tending bar, I wanted to know everything about everyone. I would sit on the back bar, with my cowboy boots propped on the beer cooler, smoking a cigarette (so clearly, it was a million years ago when people could still smoke in bars) and getting as good as I got. You had a question? I was gonna answer it, and then ask a few of my own. I was innocent. Didn't realize that the answers can be harder to accept than not knowing. Than being left to wonder.

Because if you ask, and get the answer, you now have information. You are responsible for it. You carry it with you. Forever.

And I just don't need any more baggage, I guess. But I still wear my boots behind the bar sometimes. To help me remember the days when I was innocent, and worries were few.

Pimps and Hos

You know, here's the thing about this "theme". It's not fucking funny. Even when it's done right, it's not fun or funny. In fact, before tonight the only time I would find it amusing would be if it was held at say, a nursing home.

THAT would be funny.

Well, you'd think it would be funny.

But tonight, I came painfuly close to seeing that played out - and it was disturbing. And depressing.

I worked an event that was a Pimp and Ho theme, complete with a lingerie fashion show. They came early to set up - we were still serving dinner, and it was pretty chaotic. They were clearing out the front of the restaurant to make room for the DJ, taking tables out past people who were still eating. We had a pianist playing music during dinner service - and he gamely kept on playing while gigantic speakers were set up all around him, and tables were shoved together, and people were running cords and plugging in strobe lights and whatnot. Camera men were setting up, flashes were going off, and crowds of very strangely dressed people - mostly elderly women - were arriving.

"What's going on here tonight?" one of my customers asked as I was taking his order. I could barely hear him over the din. "Um. Well, it's a party, with a lingerie fashion show." I explained.

"Ah." he said. "I'll have the sashimi."
"Excuse me" said a woman as she pushed by decked out in head to toe red, complete with red feather tickler.
The final straw came when they started inflating the air mattress.

A fucking air mattress.

We thought they were using power tools, the noise was so loud.
"Gee," said one of the bartenders "that drill is making it really hard to hear the piano."
"That's not a power tool, that's an air pump." I rolled my eyes as I stomped past with the order of sashimi for my table.
"A what?"
"Oh," interrupted my customer, as a 60 year old woman wandered past in thigh highs and tap shoes. "I thought it was a vibrator or something."

"Hey, what's going on in here?" someone asked at the door.
"A lingerie fashion show."
"What's the bed for?" they asked, as they surveyed the scene in the middle of our dining room, and caught sight of the camera crew. "Are you filming a porno?"
"Are you serious?" our doorperson asked. "We're still serving DINNER."

Sunny Sundays - things I love

I have been seeing some things lately that I just I am going to try to commit to sharing one of these things each week with you. That way - even though you and I both know that my house is a pigsty and I am probably asleep on the couch with a half-eaten ice cream bar in my hand and a trashy magazine on the floor next to me - we can pretend that I live in one of those pretty blogs, where everything is clean and perfect. I will not be compaensated for any of the items I review here. These will all be things I discovered on my own, and love, and want to share.

It helps me feel relevant, people. Just humor me.

So to launch this weekly feature - here is the first item. Actrually, I'll give you a two-fer, you lucky bastard. A little backstory, if you will indulge me.

I love chai lattes. I buy the liquid concentrate chai, and heat it up in the microwave with milk every morning before I drive the kids to school. None of my thermal travel coffee mugs can be put in the microwave and dishwasher. Until Now.

Before I made this recent discovery, I would have to warm the chai, and the milk, in a mug, then pour it into the travel mug. All of my travel mugs were cracked from illicit trips through the dishwasher. The whole thing made using travel mugs annoying.

But this new discovery has totally rocked my world.

Behold: The Aladdin SUSTAIN series.

The travel mugs can be put in the dishwasher AND the microwave.
You heard me.
I got mine at a big box store for less then $7. I bought two. And I love love love them.

Part two: Iced Lattes. It's hot outside - have you noticed? A little too hot for chai lattes. BUT I also love iced lattes. And so, I found another travel cup situation, for COLD drinks, also at a big box store, also for less than $10. (They also sell them at certain un-named but located on almost every corner espresso bars with that company's logo on them, FYI.)

So stop throwing away cups - disposable doesn't mean it just disappears magically, you know.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Feeding the beast

I was reading some blogs last night, and realized that MOST bloggers I follow are posting pictures of their beautiful, well-organized, and very clean homes. And then I saw my post and thought......"huh."

At least you know you can count on me to keep it real. I may not inspire you to great heights vis a vis home design and organization, but damned if I don't make you feel better about your housekeeping? AM I RIGHT?

I do try, though. I like my house to look nice, I like to have pretty, interesting and well-designed things. But, I live on an island - and while we do have plenty of shopping here, it really is very limited, and pretty much everyone has seen it all. Hard to find things that are really unique - even the imported beautiful handmade things are still, well...........pretty common in these parts.

So when I go to the mainland, I am always blown away by all of the STUFF that is available. I swear to god, if I lived near a Target I would be there every damn day. There is a trifecta of retail: Trader Joes, IKEA, and Target - and without fail I visit each of these establishments MULTIPLE TIMES during our trips home. Is that weird? Whatever. I'm not ashamed.

This last trip, I feel in love with a dishrack - the kind that you put your wet dishes on to dry. Yeah, I know. I have issues. But this dish rack was awesome. So I bought it, and boxed it up, and paid $25 to check it in at the airport, and fly that damn thing back to Maui. For that amount of effort, you would think that it washed the damned dishes FOR ME and then put them away. But I didn't care. It was true love. The fact that it didn't actually fit in my sink, the fact that I already had a perfectly servicable dish rack, these things? They did not matter. I was enraptured.

By a dish rack.

Shut the fuck up.

ANYWAY I got the dish rack home to Maui, wedged it into my sink, and blissed out for a few days. Oh, the features of this dishrack are many. I am in love. It is perfect. And I would never be able to find anything like this HERE. Content in my satisfaction, I was taken completely by surprise when I went to the mall and found.........

.............a huge, gleaming display fucking dish rack that I had just paid $25 to bring back from the mainland.

The funny thing is, I bought the dishrack, but held off on the espresso machine I need for my bathroom espresso bar. And it turns out, there are no espresso machines - at least no decent ones - available on island. I walked through Target and Starbucks and Macy's and about 25 other places that sell all manner of espresso machines (I was in SEATTLE, after all) but each time I would shake my head and say "I'll wait until I get home, and buy one there. Wouldn't want to have to check any boxes in at the airport. You know, that costs $25!"

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Box

I believe I have mentioned before that housekeeping is not what I would call a strong suit of mine. I mean, I make a good effort. I do. Especially if company is coming. But in general, I am a bit, well, messy.

I have piles.

I have piles of piles.

Paperwork, and odds and ends that I am not sure what to do with. Things I can't recycle. Things I might need someday. Things I should file, but haven't. Things that need to be shredded.

You know.......stuff.

One of my techniques - especially when company is coming over - is to clear off every surface in my house, and throw it all into a box. I learned this when we were moving, and I needed to clean the house quickly for a showing. I would just dump everything in a moving box and close it and VOILA - clean !

Once I did this in preparation for some special event, and a neighbor happened to stop by right after I had dragged a full box of crap into another room. And she walked into my living room and stood there, dumbfounded. "I don't think" she said slowly "that I have EVER seen your house so clean before!" I was heartbroken, and embarrassed. Because seriously, all I did was sweep off the kitchen counter and stack the magazines nicely. I hadn't even vacuumed or anything. She made me feel like a total pig. But on the other hand, my bar is set VERY LOW which means I can put forth only very minimal effort, and really knock their socks off. So HOORAY for being a slob !

A few months ago, we hosted a farewell party for friends. And guests arrived EARLY (oh, please, don't ever pull that shit. If you get invited to a party at my house, always give the hostess 5-10 extra minutes to finish up. Even if you have to drive around the fucking BLOCK don't show up right on the nose, or worse - EARLY. Because right before the party starts is when I am trying to wipe off my armpits with a baby wipe and change out of my sweaty clothes and possibly get a quick shampoo. OK, probably not a shampoo, but a girl can dream.....)

ANYWAY, the first guests arrived early, and I was right in the middle of shoving everything into The Box and dragging the box into my closet.

I found that box today. It's not like it was hidden, or anything. It's been right there all along, right at the end of my bed. But I have been ignoring it. For a while I covered it with laundry. But that HUSBAND of mine put the laundry away and TAH DAH - box o'crap.

So my question is this.............what am I supposed to DO with all of this stuff? I don't want to throw it away. THERE'S GOOD STUFF IN THERE. Like, the sparkly pumpkin stickers. And the random office supplies. And the business cards. And the string. And the glass teacup. I mean, I'm not going to inventory this for you, I just want to know. WHAT DO PEOPLE DO WITH RANDOM CRAP AROUND THEIR HOUSE?

Do you really just throw it all away? Because if that's the solution, if that's your final answer, then I am fucked. It is going to take me forever to work up the nerve to throw this stuff away. I mean, what if I need to consult this FIRST AID handbook? What about these cool tattoos? And this rubber stamp? And these keys? And thes return address labels all have MY NAME on them! I have to save these, right?!


You can't just throw this stuff away - THIS IS GOOD STUFF.
So tell me, please. What do you do with random things that you find all over your house? I'm not talking about you people who still have ticket stubs from your first date - EVER - which was actually a pretty good flick, actually, that Bill and Ted, they were good guys but THIS IS NOT THE POINT.
This is not a hoarders situation. They aren't finding missing mummified CATS in these boxes. I am a normal person with normal clutter. This question, this WHAT DO I DO?  question is directed at people who live a life free of clutter.


Please, for the love of god, please tell me where to stash this shit. It's making me nuts. Plus, the box is full, and I can't bring myself to start a second box. Not yet, anyway.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The thoughts, they are running

You know those nights, where you lie in bed and your stream of consciousness just wrecks you? You want to sleep, you really do - but you can't.

Sometimes, it's money.
Sometimes, it's an unresolved personal issue.
Sometimes, it's work-related.
Sometimes, you just want some ice cream.

Usually, when I am awake in the middle of the night, I am good - it is as though I have had enough sleep, and my body is ready to get on with the day, already. "Stop lying around for Chrissake" my head will tell me. "Get your ass up - you have shit to do." (my head has a filthy mouth, doesn't she?)

And so I dutifully get out of bed, and sit here, in the dark, listening to the roosters and doing whatever needs to get done. But sometimes, when I am worried about things, or feeling unsure of myself, there is nothing to do but just sit here and marinate in that icky feeling of helplessness - which always seems worse at 3am, doesn't it?

Yes it does. Trust me. It's 4:54am and for 2 hours I have been lying in bed in the dark listening to Sami breathe, with my thoughts circling around in my brain. I do not feel awake and rested and ready to get on with my day. In fact, I don't think I am able to put together a coherent thought right now. Why the fuck I am trying to blog in this state is beyond me.

And you know what's keeping me awake? Besides the bills and my pounding headache and the STUPIDLY LOUD ROOSTERS and my desire for a big bowl of Cheerios (my go-to food in the pre-dawn hours)?


I haven't been poating about derby because I haven't been skating much. Work and life and traveling have all gotten in the way....and it sucks but it is what it is. And I would love to watch crazy derby girls have derby weddings and swim in the pool at Hooters and sing karaoke. And skate - I assume someone will be on skates at some point.

Because I have been away from regular practice and off-skates for such an extended period of time, I feel like I am the new girl all over again. I am out of shape and re-learning how to do everything on wheels. After 45 minutes of skating last night, I declared myself done for the day, and sat out for a bit. As the sun went down and it started to get dark on the basketball courts where we practice, I tried to set up the outdoor lighting. Quietly, so as not to bother the rest of the team, I skated over to the side, picked up one of the sets of lights, and skated to one end of the asphalt to set it up. And as I reached my destination, and went to set down the lights, my skates went out from under me, and I landed flat on my back - still clutching the lights.

It was like a fucking cartoon.

I didn't hurt myself - at least, not physically - but I think my pride has seen better days. I had thought that by now I was past the point where I would just randomly fall over. But since from time to time I randomly fall over WITHOUT SKATES ON, I guess that would be silly to hope for.

My point is this: I am out of sorts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Well, he finally did it

Yes, that's right........ he emptied the bucket and put it away. I just thought you should know.

HUZZAH ! All is right with the world.

In other news, all is decidedly not all right. Work drama continues unabated - this particular spectacle has apparently been brewing for a while now, but this time I am not directly involved - and what a fucking relief THAT is, let me tell ya. Even though it's not about me - and let it be noted, This Is Not About Me (you won't hear that too often around these parts) - I'm not pleased with these latest developments, and I am not sure what to do about that. I have absolutely no say in the outcome. So I will say nothing more about it here, and continue to ponder the situation, the players, and what the fuck just happened. It's going to take a while. Don't wait up.

With that whole thing (gesturing wildly around my head) going on, what's a girl to do but take to her bed - and that is exactly what I did. Who am I to fight nature? This morning, I fixed myself a big bowl of LIFE* cereal - which is not technically the breakfast of champions but it totally could be because IT'S DELICIOUS - and went right back to bed.
I tossed.
I turned.
I listened to NPR.
I slept fitfully.
I got up to pee.

And then I gave up entirely, took 3 Advil* because my nose? IT STILL HURTS, and then sat in my underwear reading old issues of Rolling Stone until the mail came. Not the MALE - the mail. The U.S. Postal Service. And then we went to the mall and I bought myself an espresso, and the kids got a smoothy, and we walked around feeling gloomy, and then we went home.


It was fucking fabulous. But it didn't help solve the workplace drama. That is going to take more then a car ride and some Advil, I'm afraid. The LIFE cereal did help, some. So there's that.

* LIFE cereal and Advil didn't pay me or provide me with any free cereal or free anti-inflammatories. It's a damn shame.

Now I have to go mop the bathroom floor, because my children's friends are FILTHY and there are little dirty (as in muddy) finger and foot prints all over my bathroom. I wonder what my husband will say when he walks outside tomorrow morning and trips over the bucket and mop........

Oh just use your sleeve for goodness sake

Yesterday I did a bit of time traveling.

I got up, as I always used to do, at 6:30am. On a Sunday morning. Ouchie.
It was difficult. I managed.

I got all gussied up. I do that sometimes.

I got in my little red car, and zipped down the mountain, and walked through the kitchen, and out onto the floor, and stood in a single wedge of sunlight at the cafe. I took a deep breath. It had been a long time, but this was so familiar. I was home, in a strange way.

I was going to work Sunday brunch.

Things started out a bit awkwardly. I couldn't find things. Like napkins (there weren't any) or saucers (nope, we didn't have those either) or lttle metal cups for ketchup (I guess they walked away on their own two legs). But I got things set up somewhow. I managed.

I was working with a great friend, and two more great friends in the kitchen, and one dishwasher who is, let's see, how to put it nicely............he's a bit rough around the edges. Also, drunk. Or maybe high. Possibly both. So, you know, rougher than usual. Or maybe not? It was challenging. I managed.

The morning was just incredibly slow. SLOOOOOWWWWWWW. SO SLOW. And then, all of a sudden, it wasn't. And we were twirling and swirling around the restaurant. Chaos ensued. Ponytails flying, silverware clinking, ice running low, dishes piling up because, well, the dishwasher. He was drunk.

But he got a chance to catch up because before you knew it, everyone was gone and we cleaned up and caught up and had a sip of coffee and caught our breath and waited for the next rush......which didn't come. Someone went to the store for napkins. Then someone else went to the store to get the things we forgot.

Eventually, my wingman left me. I was wingless. Man-less? Woman-less? Anyway, it was just me. And the cooks, of course.

And the dishwasher. (sigh)

At some point, a lovely, newly engaged (as in, "he proposed just a few minutes before" kind of new) couple came in and asked for a bottle of bubbly. Which I gleefully provided. I swooned over the gorgeous ring, took photos, refilled glasses, and then when their friends began arriving to join in the celebration, I went to fetch another bottle. Only, we were out. I was confused. OUT? How, why, in what reality do we not have a few bottles of champagne for special celebrations?

I returned, and offered the next-nicest bottle we had, which they happily accepted. And they drank it. And more friends arrived. And they ordered another.

Except. Well. You know where this is headed, right?
Yeah. No champagne. At all. We had two bottles, and I sold 'em.

I called the manager in a bit of a tizz. Well I tried, But there was no dial tone. Shit. I pushed the buttons: Click click click. Nope, still no dial tone. But oddly......I could hear the bang of the oven. Through the phone.

So i went in back to investigate, and there on the desk was the grocery order the dishwasher was calling in today. And the phone.It had never been hung up. And it had been off the hook for 112 minutes.

Almost 2 hours.
The phone - the business phone, during Sunday brunch, had been off the hook. For. Two. Hours.
Oh dear. I was quite angry. The dishwasher was no where to be found.

I went back out front, and tried the phone again. Dial tone. Perfect. I call my manager. I tell him about the phone, and the champagne. He tells me there is definitely more in there. I tell him there definitely is not. He's on his way.

My customer - the newly engaged - approaches. They want to leave. He wants to pay. He has his credit card. Unfortunately, we don't accept that card. He doesn't have another card. We look at each other. This is not going well. But he has cash ! Yes, he does. He has cash. Fabulous. Enough for both bottles, even !

Not enough for a tip, however.
No worries. Best wishes.

And I have to excuse myself, because the dishwasher approacheth. I need to keep him away from these nice folks. His eyes are at half mast. He is staggering. His pupils are different sizes and his eyes are looking in different directions and he's drooling, slightly. Lovely. I would give him a napkin, but dude, we're almost out again.

"When are you going home?" he slurs as he loads his bus tray.

Funny, I was just going to ask him the same question.

"I'm not......I'm going to the beach. If I ever get out of here."

"What? REALLY? FUCK!" he exclaims.

I am missing something, I am not understanding. Why is he so-

"I need a ride. YOU WERE GOING TO BE MY RIDE."

News to me. And also, no.

"I'm sure you can get a ride" I reassured him.

"From where?" he asked, still wavering on his feet.

"From out front" I gestured to the designated hitch hiker pick up area in front of the resturant, under a shady tree.

I turned to the register, the empty bus bin dropped to the floor, and when I looked up again, he was standing out front, swaying gently, thumb extended. Still drooling, slightly.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

You're doing it wrong. Yes you are.

Last night, or really this morning if you want to get technical, I got home from work around 3am. I was a little tired, and a lot wired on Coca-Cola and nicotine. And as I opened the door and stepped into the kitchen, I was faced with a mess.

I think the dishwasher was full. I hope it was full. That is the only explaination for what greeted me.

And it has to be said - I didn't care enough to figure it out. I surveyed the disaster-area that was formerly a kitchen counter, walked over to the crockpot that was still on in the corner, ladled the meat sauce that had been cooking all day AND all night into jars, and staggered to bed.

The reason I didn't stay up and deal with it, besides the fact that I was beyond exhausted and far past the point of giving a shit, was that the other adult in the household is responsible for unloading the dishwasher. So I was DAMNED if I was going to do it.

The division of labor in our house goes something like this:
Me: "I don't want to do it, so that's your job."
Him: "But I don't want to do it either."
Me: "Gee, that's too bad. I would make it worth your while."
(Long stare. Pointed glances.)
Him: "I'll get right on that."
Me: "Excellent."

So he ends up putting away stuff that I have cleaned. It works out well - I clean stuff during the day while he is at work, even the really gross and yucky stuff like the (gag) toilet, and then when he gets home, there is all sorts of clean stuff to put away.

Isn't that wonderful? I think so too. He's pretty much my hero, and the sole reason why our marriage is as long and strong as it is. We all know this. I am very devoted, but him? He's a fucking saint. Saint Sam. Prayer cards coming soon. I might even make a dashboard bobble doll. But in all seriousness, we have figured out a way to get stuff done around here, with a minimum of drama. Which is really saying something.

There are two reasons why things work the way that they do.
First, I am a bitch of the first order, no doubt about that. So when he loads the dishwasher wrong - and yes, there IS such a thing as loading it wrong - I get all huffy and have to dramatically unload and reload and fit about 20 extra things in there before slamming the door shut with a smug look. And don't even get me started on putting the toilet paper on the roll with the paper coming down against the wall. Nails on a fucking blackboard. So he kindly lets me take care of that shit, since it makes me so fucking crazy.

Second, I have the attention span of a flea. I bounce all over the place, from one thing to another. I am famous for running a load of laundry and then forgetting it in the washing machine for days. The bucket and mop from when I mopped the floor 3 days ago is still on the porch, filled with dirty water. Hm. I wonder why he hasn't taken care of that yet.

Sami's role in our relationship is to make sure that once things have been cleaned, that they actually get put away - so that I can clean more shit. I get absolutely no sense of accomplishment from putting everything back in it's proper place. It can take me months to hang clothes up in my closet. Our bed is never made. Shoes are scattered all over the house. I would sooner hand wash all the dishes than unload the dishwasher. That bucket and mop are going to stay outside until someone is coming over to visit.

Unless, of course, Sami puts it away. THAT would be awesome. And for what it's worth, I would totally make it worth his while.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I may not have thought this through. Or maybe I did, and I forgot.

Really, I thought that the issue most impacting my decision vis a vis nose piercing, was the pain involved.

Which was negligible, compared to other life events like, say, having your stomach cut open and then sewn back together. Or having a largish tattoo tramp-stamped on your sacrum.

However, a few things have come up in the past 24 hours that have reminded me of some of the concerns that I had, that may have prevented me from doing this earlier.

Like the sign of rules posted above the time clock at the cafe. I have a terrible, sinking feeling that one of the rules is "no facial piercings". I didn't even think about that until yesterday when people started saying that they wished they could have their nose pierced, but that work didn't allow it. And I thought, "What do you mean they don't allow it? That's just ridi..........oh fuck."

So I may have just effectively ended my current employment, and I guess lots of places don't let you have your nose pierced so I guess what I have done is ensure that I start getting some paying writing gigs - immediately.

But as they say on the game shows: "And that's not also get THIS -"
"This what?" you ask. What could be worse then doing something to change your appearance in such a way that you can no longer get a job without putting a small bandage on your nose every morning?

I'll tell you what. Did I mention my allergies? I have them. I have always had them. And these allergies lead to a lot of sneezing and blowing of the nose. The newly pierced nose. Which, it turns out, it kind of hurts to blow. Or wipe. Or sneeze with.

My allergies have kept me from doing LOTS of things that I might have tried when I was younger - cocaine, for instance. I was petrified that if I tried to snort anything up my nose I would sneeze. On a pile of someone's cocaine. And scatter it everywhere. And ruin the party, And possibly get myself killed. And so, I never tried cocaine. They should use that in a "Just Say No" campaign, because it totally worked for me.

But when I sneezed just a few minutes after getting my nose pierced, and then tried to blow my nose, I almost crashed the car.

Helpful hint - do not forcefully blow through a minutes-old piercing, and simultaneously squeeze it with your fingers. It hurts. And then you get tissue stuck on the piercing. Which you will have to pick off in the Whole Foods parking lot. Which may lead to some inadvertant drops of blood - just a few - before the whole thing clots up again.

So anyway, all of this has led me to purchase large-ish amounts of handkerchiefs and small adhesive patches, because we going to do this thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hey. You got something on your nose.

Let's get this straight. I don't have something ON my nose. I have something STRAIGHT THROUGH MY FUCKING NOSE AND IT HURTS.

Today, my darling husband walked through the door and was met with a vision.
This vision was wrapped in a green flannel bathrobe with lobsters printed on it, hunched over the counter, with her entire face jammed into a finger bowl.

"Uh. Hi?"

"Salt water bath." I explained. Except it sounded like "salwaderbad" because my face was actually underwater and I was breathing through my mouth.


I stood up and the salt water, snot, and bits of dried blood ran down my face and rolled off my chin. There was no dignity to be reclaimed in this situation. I pulled my robe around me and dabbed at my face.

"It's a salt water bath. I am supposed to submerge THIS 4 times a day, for 15 minutes." I explained, gesturing towards my face.

My face which is now adorned with a small stainless steel piercing in my left nostril.

He picked up the care instructions sheet I had been given by the piercer.

"Wow. FOUR times a day for 15 minutes, huh?"

I would just like to state, for the record, in case anyone out there is considering this form of self-mutiliation/accessorizing, that the actual piercing was not too painful. It was quick and easy, and only minimally traumatic. I mean, it involved a cork for crissake. How scary can it be?

But afterwards, as I wandered through Whole Foods and blood intermittantly ran down my face - just one small drip every so often - the customers in the store were not amused. The Canadian spy who was taking pictures of the display of Annie's bunny-shaped cereal ("You have a lot of products here that we don't have in Canada" he explained) actually walked away when I approached, because I clearly offended his conservative, dignified, non-violent Canadian nature with my bloody nostril.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We're three days in and my bathrooms STILL haven't been cleaned. But they are still cleaner than the ones on the plane. I'm just sayin.

AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we're back.

Please excuse the delay in notifying you of my safe return. I had some things to attend to. Like my husband. In a good way.

This is no reflection upon our amazing hosts and hostesses and their incredible hospitality which was just so incredible in every way - you guys rock and we had a blast seeing you and staying with you BUT after 3 weeks apart and another week of sleeping either A. At My MOM'S HOUSE or B. In the same room as THE KIDS, we made the executive decision to stay home yesterday and get adjusted together.


We also drank at a bar, went to Costco, and got coffee. The kids? Oh I don't know where they were, I mean, I am sure they were around here, wait, that's right - DAY CAMP IS THE BEST INVENTION EVER.

Just when I had had Just About Enough Summer Vacation, day camp came along and swept me off my feet. No wait, that was my husband. Or was it the tequila. I don't know, does it really matter?

My Point Is, the kids were at day camp, my husband was home from work, and we got to spend the whole day together, without the kids, and it was the most relaxing day of our entire vacation even if the vacation WAS technically already over but WHATEVER STOP BEING SO FUCKING PICKY ABOUT THE DETAILS OUR KIDS WERE SOMEWHERE ELSE AND IT WAS AWESOME.

So it turns out, we need to schedule some more grown up time.
I think, actually, after having such a lovely day yesterday, that I need to remind all of us (and you know who you are) that we need more grown up time. Whether that time is spent with a partner, a spouse, a friend, or your vibrator - I'M NOT JUDGING - we should all take this opportunity to look at a calendar and pick a day or a weekend or - if you have the opportunity - a week or so, to spend some time hanging out, preferably naked.

Or, you know, if you don't like being naked, then just hanging out in, say, your t-shirt and some panties. That's right boys, get out your best pair of panties and get comfy. Tell her I gave you permission.


All right, my vacation is really and truly over and now I have to go to work, so think of me fondly as you climb into body is 6 hours ahead so it feels like I am starting my workshift at midnight after being up since 3am and I am pretty fucking unhappy about it.

Good thoughts and get naked. (Unless, like I said, you don't like that sort of thing. In which case PANTIES.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The traveler's lament. AKA airplane toilets are disgusting and now I have to clean my house

Forgive me Boston for I have traveled. It has been 5 weeks since I was last home. To say that the bloom is off of the rose that has been this summer vacation, is a striking understatement.

I am sitting elbow to elbow with Sami, on our Trans Pac flight home to Maui. My "m" key is fucking broken, there are two children directly behind us who are VERY unhappy about being onboard, the meal was some sort of enchilada shit, and I have a migraine. My feet are swelling despite me forgoing most of the enchilada and all of the tortilla chips (though I must confess that I ate the rest of that pounder of M&Ms). My skin is dry and itchy, I've read all of my magazines, and the fucking battery is going to die on my laptop momentarily. I ordered tea and they served me coffee. There is fucking turbulance and I have to pee, and this shit coffee is doing nothing to improve matters, but I am in the window seat and my tray table is down and the seatbelt light is on and so I guess I'll just have to hold it. I am starting to really appreciate the concept of Depends for long-haul flights, or even (it must be said) puddle jumpers (no pun intended). And not just so I can pee in the comfort of my own seat - I am convinced that peeing in my pants is actually CLEANER then using the bathroom on an airplane. Airplane bathrooms are gross, and they are made even more disgusting by turbulence. Can't we all just agree to sit down to pee during a flight? I am sick and tired of encountering puddles of piss all over the floor and toilet seat of the airplane bathroom. Stop with your hovering bullshit, ladies - just slap that ass down on the seat and hit your mark. You are not going to catch an STD from making contact with the toilet, the only thing you are going to accomplish is peeing on yourself and the surrounding area, and probably your own clothing if you get a good stream going - which is almost impossible when you are hovering ANYWAY. It is damn hard to empty your bladder when you are clenching your ass and all of your abdomen and thigh muscles, hunched over and swaying - you'll just have to pee again in 10 minutes anyway, only now the toilet will be covered with urine from you and about 100 other people - which I am pretty sure is far more disgusting than sitting down on the seat to begin with.. And men, you don't have good aim in ideal circumstances, why even try to hold steady while the floor and toilet are both in motion?

Anyway, as I was saying. This vacation is over, and I am anxious to get off this plane. I want to sleep in my own bed, and drive my own car and use my own bathroom - but only after I have set up an espresso bar just outside of the shower for convenient mid-conditioning lattes like I had in Seattle. It's hard to be so conflicted about going home.

Plus, home is going to look different. Upon our triumphant return to ye olde homestead, I will have some changes to adjust to. One is the distinct lack of a ceiling in my living room. Sami got rid of it during our vacation, which was one of the reasons we were gone for as long as we were - that sort of project needs some time, and a haz-mat suit.

Gecko poop is a fact of life in Hawaii attics, ya'll.

Another big change is that I will finally have a fenced yard. I am not sure exactly *where* the fence is, or how *much* fence is involved in said fencing of said yard, but there is some fencing, and it better be good. In fact, I believe "epic" is the word I used in previous conversations.

And then, there is the Rest Of The House.

Maui is, for all intents and purposes, a fairly dirty/dusty place. A great deal of our time is spent out-of-doors, much of it barefoot. Which means that my house gets pretty dirty and needs a fairly constant level of maintenance - which I am loathe to provide. The thought of what awaits me upon my return........boggles the mind. The bathroom has not been thoroughly cleaned in 6 weeks. The porch has not been swept, which means it will resemble a nest of twigs and dog hair and spiderwebs and dust. The windows have not been cleaned, which means that we probably will not be able to see out of them. The ceiling fans will be coated in dust and the corners will be in need of a thorough vacuuming. Oh who am I kidding - I'm going to have to vacuum the whole damn house.

And then there's the gecko poop.

Sami insists that he cleaned up post-remodeling, and I am certain that he did, indeed, clean up.

But as I mentioned, there was poop, of the gecko variety, set loose in my house as the living room ceiling - which was also the floor of the attic crawl space - came down. And that means that for my own peace of mind I have to wipe down every god damned surface with anti-viral disinfectant, or bleach, or both.

And we haven't even started talking about the post-vacation pile o'laundry to be washed and put away. I actually don't mind the washing so much - it's not as though I am going to be beating my dirty clothes on rocks down by the river, or scrubbing them on a washboard in a metal bucket on the porch, but I am definitely going to have to put everything away - a process that could stretch out over several weeks.

So yes, the vacation is over. And I am going home. To my house, and my dog, and about 36 hours of housecleaning.


Friday, July 9, 2010

iyam what iyam

I am sure after reading about how I took my shirt off in a parade, and got mistaken for a hooker (all in the same week) you are thinking to yourself "Good LORD woman, get a grip already." And may I just say: you don't know the half of it.

Now I am in Seattle, and I am carefully juggling quality time with friends and family and intensive retail therapy with my beloved girlfriend.
She even bought an air conditioner in honor of my visit. I know, right?!

It's no surprise that she would go to such great lengths. This is the same dear friend who keeps Bumble and Bumble hair products in her guest bathroom for me. This trip, she has raised the bar quite a bit, so future hostesses of America (or just of Daffodil) please be warned - I have discovered how much I like having a espresso bar set up in my guest bathroom, directly outside of my shower, so that I can step out and whip up a latte while my conditioner is soaking in.

Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it.

But all of this is not my point. And I do have one. My point is that my dear friend who loves me and understands all of my little "idiosyncracies" (a.k.a. "nut buttons") took one look at me fresh off a 9 hour flight, then looked at my husband, and said "Did she wear that on the plane?"

I have spent many an evening admiring Maggie Mason's photo essays of what she packed to take with her on trips. And she always looks so fabulous. So classy. So chic. My suitcase is loaded with tank tops, sassy skirts, little knit sundresses, and stilettos. Not really much worth photographing, or so I thought. But the reaction of the flight attendants and then of my beloved friend, have led me to believe that perhaps, if anything, my choice of travel garb will be entertaining to some of you. I had no idea it was so fucking funny. I thought I looked GOOD. Clearly, I was mistaken.

Now, before I show you a picture of this outfit - a photo that we took tonight, going to great lengths to recreate the look that caused such a commotion - let me say this:


(Case in point - this photo is me arriving at Derby practice, courtesy of Go!ShiShi's daughter, who obviously had no idea when she might ever again see a chick showing up to Derby practice in shredded stockings, hotpants, and turquoise sparkly stilettos. Little did her innocent daughter realize, that is pretty much my regular day to day wardrobe. Little did I realize I was making such a spectacle of myself.)

Because this is pretty typical of my daily wardrobe, you may be getting an inkling of how, exactly, I roll. (But really, with heels this high, it's more of a strut than a roll.) There have been adjustments made over the years, acknowledgements that I cannot wear the very short or the very tight. That I need to wear a bra at all times. That side boob is not a good look for a 35 year old.

And yet.......but still........I cannot really give up the heels and the sass.
As clearly evidenced by the outfit I chose to wear while I flew cross-country.
Laugh now, go right ahead, but I am not going to change. It's too late for me. Save yourselves.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One of those places you should never ever go alone.

I went to the casino near my parents house the other night - alone. I was supposed to meet a group, which fell apart one by one until I was the only one left. A fact I was not aware of until I was actually AT the casino.........ALONE. Now, this is a small Connecticut town. I have been to this casino many, MANY times.  Even when I was in high school, we used to come here to eat and smoke cigarettes inside on cold winter nights. But I was never alone. This was interesting. Freeing. EMPOWERING.

So my thought was: grab a coffee, walk around, do a little shopping maybe, check out all of the new sights and sounds of what is now a truly huge gaming operation........then head home.

And I set off to do just that.

I had my coffee in my hand, and was enjoying a nice little walk about. I paused outside of the arcade area, to take a peek - maybe my kids would enjoy a few hours of air-conditioned fun ?!

And that is when I got my first hint that perhaps something was amiss.
This guy - this older, fatter, balding guy - sidled up. "Hey there. Anything in there as much fun as you look like you are?"

Wait.....WHAT? Gosh, that's a weird.......compliment?

"Heh. Um, yeah - looks like lots of fun for my kids!" I said brightly as I edged away.

So I hurried along the corridor, mostly just trying to get As Far Away From Him As Possible. I was totally skeeved out. And as I wound my way through the crowd, 3 EVEN OLDER guys came walking along from the opposite direction.

"Oh. My. Gawd. You have amazing legs." one of them said.
PleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASE BE GAY I prayed to myself.
"Uh, thank you?" Man, why are these old dudes all up in my business?
"YOU are very welcome." Shit. Not gay. And creepy. Very creepy.
And then, from my left, another old dude was fast approaching, clomping along in his Rockports with a twinkle in his eye.

And straight ahead, 3 guys were heading straight for me, detouring from their path towards the elevator. They were carrying cases of beer, suitcases, garment bags - they were obviously here for the duration. And they were looking for company.

I pulled a u-turn and headed straight for the valet. This was fucking RIDICULOUS. WHY would these guys think it was appropriate to not just leer at me, or hit on me, but to behave in such as a way as to give me the impression that they felt this attention was to be expected? I was hardly giving them a warm reception, and yet I felt incredibly uncomfortable, like I needed to escape. Like perhaps, these guys were not going to take "No" for an answer. And suddenly, it went from weird and uncomfortable to sort of scary. I wanted out. And I wanted out NOW. It's been a while, for sure - but I have had guys hit on me before. This? Was not that.

I handed my ticket to the valet, and stood by the curb. He glanced at the ticket, and said "Huh. Less then an hour? How'd you get away with that?" And he trundled off to get the car.

And that? That is when I realized.

They thought I was a hooker.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In which I ended up taking off my shirt while walking in the 4th of July Parade.

I think we all know that I am a classy chick.

What? You know I am.

And the 4th of July was hot. With my bloody mary safely stowed in the stroller's cupholder for easy (and frequent) access, I was carrying the world's cutest baby in the kiddie parade. (mmmmm Ginger Baby I love you.) But even the world's cutest red-haired baby is still a hot bundle of love to clutch to your chest while you parade through town in mid-day sun.

I wasn't going to put him down, mind you. That was not an option - I gotta get my baby fix where I can. But when I did eventually hand him back to his mother (oh so reluctantly) I realized that the entire front of my shirt was soaked. Poor Ginger Baby, having to cuddle with his sweaty auntie.

So when I looked down and realized that I was giving "hot mess" a whole new definition, I did what I thought any normal person who is wearing a bathingsuit under a sweat-drenched shirt would do.

I took off the shirt.

In retrospect, possibly I should have reconsidered. After all, everyone else was fully clothed.

But I was hot. And sweaty. So I took it off.

"What the hell are you doing?" someone asked as I approached the finish line.
"I got hot and sweaty."
Long silent staring match ensued. Which I totally won.

When I met back up with my husband and our cooler (who had gotten a bit ahead of me on the parade route) I broke what I believe to be another cardinal rule. I cracked open a beer on the training wheel of my daughter's bike (which makes a phenomenal bottle opener - note to self) in order to further refresh myself. And in doing so, I sprayed all of us with beer that had been bobbing along for the better part of two hours while we marched and walked and ran and chased our kids along through the parade.

My daughter was disgusted. "MOOOOOOMMMMM. YOU ALWAYS SPRAY ME. YUCK!"
Now my shorts were also soaked. I wiped them off with my shirt.
And I kept on walking.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Getting Oscared

You know when you get invited to a barbecue, and you bring something yummy to put on the grill, like some steak tips or some fancy kind of sausage or something? And you are all excited to eat whatever it is that you have brought? And then, when you grab a plate and reach for it - *someone else* has eaten ALL OF IT? And then, it turns, out, that *someone* who is so enjoying your fabulous contribution to the grill, brought something lame like a $2 pack of hotdogs or some crap like that? Something that they certainly aren't planning to eat - it's like they just used the BBQ as an opportunity to clean out the deli drawer or something.

Or you go to a party and bring really good beer, and the jerk who brought a 6-pack of schwag guzzles your microbrews?

It's called "Getting Oscared" (as in Oscar Mayer, or the Odd Couple - whichever works for you).

Today I got fucking OSCARED, and I am still all butt-hurt about it. I am sitting in the car eating a damn McDonald's Snack Wrap because I am starving,


The day started out so well. We visited with lots of family, then headed out to the beach for more family fun. 2 beach houses and 1 enormous family gathering, with a bonfire and fireworks to cap off the night. En route, we stopped by Trader Joes and grabbed some stuff to throw on someone's grill for dinner. 2 filets and a NY Strip, some fingerling (oh that sounds dirty) potatoes, and beverages.

I sensed the potential Oscaring climate right away - the meat choice for dinner (which historically had been a huge mix of lobsters, steak, burgers, chicke, dogs, sausages, lamb, and fish) was hotdogs or organic hotdogs. Hm. I was relieved that we had thought to bring something else for our kids to eat, but at the same time, extremely concerned about eating our yummy steaks while everyone else was enjoying hotdogs. I didn't want to be rude. And I hadn't brought enough to share with everyone. But the steaks had to be eaten - we had no cooler and a long drive home.

This was going to have to be handled very carefully.

"Let everyone else eat first" I muttered to Sami. "We can eat later on."

I sat down to work, and apparently Sami and I have very different ideas about what constitutes "later". Because suddenly he appeared next to me with the plate of steaks, cooked, and put them down on the table.

I wasn't hungry.

The potatoes weren't cooked yet.

And most importantly, No one else had eaten.

I stood up and went out to put away my laptop. I came back and the kids - NOT MY KIDS - were being served MY STEAK. And the kids were complaining because it wasn't well done.

I stood by for a minute. I mean, sure, they could have some steak.

But the steak was being divided up and doled out - while my kids were sitting there watching.

Watching other kids eating their food.

I finally stopped this travesty, only because Lucy looked like she was going to stab someone with her fork. "Hey, uh, I gotta feed my kids that steak."

"Oh, kids wait, we have to let them get their food first." Oh boy. So the other kids all stood there and stared at me as I tried to get a few pieces of steak on Lucy's plate, and then grab some for myself. I was afraid to take all of it - even though it was MY FUCKING DINNER - because the kids were obviously planning to eat steak for dinner, MY STEAK, and now I was basically taking food out of their mouths.


"Are you done?" one of them asked. "Um, yeah, I guess......" my voice trailed off as the little boy grabbed an entire filet mignon - cooked rare - and shoveled it onto his plate. He went outside, rammed a huge piece in his mouth, gagged, and had to pull it out with his fingers, dropping it on his plate and then glaring at me. "I choked." he said accusingly. "It's raw." His grandfather took his plate, and put my formerly gorgeous filet back on the grill, cooking it medium-well - which is a fucking TRAVESTY in and of itself when we are talking about filet mignon.

I chewed my small strip of steak, which was (for some unknown reason) overcooked as well.

And when I went back to get more, the plate had just been deccimated, to the point where I didn't want to even touch the steak that was left.

And so, starving and furious, I got in the car, lit a cigarette, and started driving. I fumed. I stomped my feet. I yelled. I am sure that everyone I drove past was wondering when the hell I developed Tourettes. ("She used to be such a sweet thing, it's sad how she has fallen apart like that.")

Eventually, I got over it, and went back to the house. "Feeling better now?" my husband asked as I sat in the driveway furiously tryping into my blackberry.

"Uh, yeah, NO." I responded icily. And then I did the only thing that I really could do, given the circumstances. I sat on the beach, and watched the fireworks. Not self-created this time, but the real deal.

Happy Fourth of July. Don't touch my fucking steak or I'll kill you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reunited and it feels so good........

I got him. I went to JFK in horrific (that is really the only way to describe it) 4th of July NYC traffic, and miraculously I rolled into the airport as my phone rang - he had landed and wanted to know where to meet me. And so our established habit of finding each other in the right place at the right time continues............

We headed straight into the city and had a wonderful, lengthy, romantic dinner eating all sorts of interesting, unique, never gonna get another chance to try this foods at Bar Bouloud across from Lincoln Center. We reluctantly left after two hours, only because we were exhausted (and, well, horny) and headed back towards the hotel. It was a perfect night. As we wandered along the street, arms wrapped around each other, our steps in unison, a homeless guy shouted out "Hey. Is that Osama Bin Laden?"

New York. You gotta love it.

The next morning we were up early, and as we watched the traffic situation become increasingly dire on the news, we realized that we needed to get the hell out of Dodge.

But not without breakfast.

We went to Sarabeth's - one of my favorite breakfast places and the only place on the planet where I would ever order an omelet. They make the best omelets ever as far as I am concerned. I don't know exactly how they do it - I think it involves using two pans and some steam heat - but the omelets come out sealed all the way around, perfectly cooked, with No Brown Crispy Egg. It's a damned miracle, and a pleasure to behold. And the entire dish is so light and so yummy with the perfect proportion of meat and cheese and egg..........I could talk about them all day.

But i won't.

So we got in the car, got in the traffic, and got ourselves home.....eventually. I made an appointment to get my hair trimmed that night and when I went in, the stylist was appalled.

"Um, so what's up with the color?"

"'s gray."

"Yes, yes, I see that. What are you going to do with it?"


Wrong answer, stupid.

So 2 hours later I was released from the salon with a glamorous new do, a lot less gray, and a determination to not wash my hair for the rest of the week. It cost a shit-ton to get it looking like this, and man - I'm not fucking with it.

And conveniently, we were heading out to dinner in 20 minutes - so I got to take my new hair out on the town.

We met in Stonington Borough, at the Water Street Cafe. There were, eventually, 13 of us - all friends from my early teens and their spouses. Most were meeting Sami for the first time. And I am sure that at the end of the night they were all shaking their heads and saying "How does he put UP with that shit?" I was ON FIRE. I had my favorite cocktail: the Dark and Stormy. I had an amazing meal. EVERYONE had an amazing meal. We sat around an old wooden table, elbow to elbow, standing up to switch places, greeting everyone with a hug and a kiss. Telling stories, laughing, seeing more friends from high school that we had lost touch with. There was a lot of waving and smiling and pointing and saying "HEY I know you !" and eventually we went to another bar to keep on keeping on. My girlfriend was in search of some special, delicious frozen drink that she could only get at a particular bar. It wouldn't be summer, she declared, unless we went and got one of those drinks. So we get there, and she gets up to the bar, and she orders.................

a fucking mudslide. A frozen mudslide.

I wish I had that innocence. I wish that a mudslide did it for me. God, my life would be so much easier. But then I saw that they had a Pusser's Painkiller and I was all "Um, yeah - ONE OF THOSE PLEASE."

So I was now two drinks in, and wasted.




Louder than usual.

But Cheap.

And as an added bonus - I WAS STILL DRUNK THIS MORNING. I got more mileage out of two rum drinks then I have ever gotten out of an entire bottle of wine. But I have to say that I am pretty sure that bartender put extra rum in my Painkiller. I am totally going back there - if they'll let me in.