Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tiny, bite-sized pockets of KILL ME.

For all you nay-sayers who think I’m not adventurous. Not brave. Not daring. Not “Putting myself out there!” I give you:


Oh yes, yes, I totally did so! Last night I put on my fancy-pants clothes, popped a handful of mints into my mouth and braved the wacky world of 6-minute power-judging. Come, I will tell you about it!

Firstly I was able to find an age group this time into which I actually fit, and there was no obligation that I be able to touch my toes or climb Mt. Anything, so these were both good things. The location was one I’d been to before – a low-key jazzy bar attached to a nice restaurant, decorated in black and blue shades, all sorts of mellow and hip – so that seemed like a helpful atmosphere. I got to the restaurant part a little early (because that’s what they SAID to do! And I follow directions, people!) and registered there with the tremendously, fabulously, possibly radioactively bubbly host lady.

A note: I know I normally change names to protect the innocent, but I’m bending that rule this time for two reasons. One: the name is just too excellent to change and Two: No host of speed dating can be considered innocent.

Host lady’s name was Porsche, but she very specifically pronounced it “Por-Shay.” It was SO HARD not correct her every time she introduced herself. “you’re saying that wrong. I don’t care who’s name it is, you are saying it WRONG.” Porshay didn’t stop smiling the entire 2 hours we were there, and was about 4000% more excited about the idea of an evening of speed dating than any of we attendees. And let me tell you, she REALLY wanted to thank us for coming. Like 5 or 6 times. She was so very, very appreciative. (I really want to make a sexual joke here, but I’m resisting. For now.)

I hit the ladies room before things started and then went into the bar-part where the actual speed dating was to happen and oh hey, look at that! My nice, simple jazzy club is now a North African bar/club/place/thing/deal. And it’s also full of pillows, pillows, pillows! And there are gauzy curtain/drape things hanging everywhere, including places not so curtainy/drapey! And bar-ware with sequins and fancy colors, because apparently that’s how things are in North Africa? And it’s BRIGHT! With lights of COLORS! And there are THINGS EVERYWHERE.

No sooner had I made peace with the fabu new d├ęcor I noticed that the place was full of tables. And the tables each had a number. And each numbered table had a dude sitting there. Each one. Had a dude. One dude. That’s it.

Tables with dudes. Dudes all staring at me. Is it. Doooooooods.


I wasn’t early anymore (what with the precautionary tinkle I took) and there were 7 tables full of guys and, counting me, there was a girl-total of ME. So I did the only reasonable thing.

I turned around and walked out.

And by the way, in the time it took me to count all the dude-heads and all the lack of dame-heads and make my classy escape I assure you that all the dudes noticed me too. And noticed my classy escape. So I’m off to a great start here, what with my entrance, panic and retreat. Yeah, right off the bat I was LOVING this speed-dating thing.

I walk back into the restaurant and I’m thinking “ok, so did I get this wrong? Is this maybe the all-dude gay speed dating night? Didn’t the registration lady notice that I’m not a dude? Maybe she couldn’t see me over the glare of her scary white toothy smile? What if I’m the only woman who signed up? What if they want me to go from table to table all night? Just me? What if I spontaneously explode from the hating of a single moment? THERE MUST BE OTHER WOMEN AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE!!”

Sure enough, when I went to the bar in the adjacent restaurant there were a whole BUNCH of women! Drinking and chatting and enjoying that last cigarette, and with Porshay begging them to haul their big butts into the room full of waiting men! I have no idea what the deal was with the various women, or why it is that it took another 10 minutes after I bit the bullet and returned to the little corner of Africa for any of them to wander in! But I can say that sitting there, at table number four, with Dude number four, and with an entire room of ladyless tables and ladyless other dudes staring at me, I developed a significant hatred for every single one of those women.

OK, moving on...

For those of you who have never done speed dating I first say GOOD CALL!!! And then I explain to you how it works:
  • There are tables with numbers, and each dude gets a number, and each dame gets a number. Numbers are crucial in this system. You also get a scorecard where you keep track of the numbers and names of the people you meet, as well as any notes that can fit into a line about 3 inches long.
  • Everyone starts at the table corresponding to their number.
  • You chat or flirt or whatever with your table-mate for 6 minutes. At that point super-bubbly Porshay rings a bell and the dudes all move one table up the list. (so for example the dude at my table moved to table five, and I was joined at my table by dude number three. Get it?) The women don’t move, which is lucky given how DAMNED LONG it took to get these betches to move in from the other bar!!!
  • When the dude moves on, and before the next one sits down, you’re supposed to circle one of two responses on your scorecard: “Let’s Talk!” or “No Thanks!” (or as I preferred to see them, “Seriously?” or “tag and release back into the wild for research”)
I won’t go through every interaction because it would take too long. And be too painful. And also shudder. I can tell you what I wrote in my 2 inch “Notes” section:

Dude 1: “really shy, really nervous, may burst into flames before end of night.”
Dude 2: “lawyer/politician, huge head, tiny teeth, maybe no eyes at all?”
Dude 3: “Navy guy, has possible crush on Dude 2?”
Dude 4: “Network guy, has never been out of Hippyville, probably for the best.”
Dude 5: “real estate lobbyist, thinks this is a competition, VELOUR SHIRT? REALLY?”
Dude 6: “QA for Yahoo. Movie snob. Shiny, shiny, oh-so-shiny head.”
Dude 7: “sports fan, possibly CIA operative, super-cool dude. Just ask him.”

I started with Dude 4, and found it really hard to pay attention to him because over his shoulder, up on a decorative ledge, was a big, stuffed goat. Wearing a gauzy scarf. STARING AT ME. Like he was saying “I have to be here, it’s too late for me. What’s your excuse?” At least once I actually wondered what would happen if, while the guys were shuffling around between bell-rings, I just walked out and went home? But I stuck it out to the bitter (seriously, bitter) end!

It took me only a few minutes to realize the massive flaw in this whole concept, which is this: The worst part of a date, in my experience, is the beginning when you’re just figuring out what to say or how to sit or even if this person has a funny smell or maybe is actually a trained monkey. Speed dating takes that most uncomfortable first few minutes and makes you repeat those, and only those, over and over! You never get past the awkward beginning part to find out if the other person might be worthwhile at all! It’s pretty much “stiff, uncomfortable, awkward, yucky, am I sitting up straight?, wow at least he’s stopped tapping his toe, maybe I could ask him- DONE!” and repeat till crazy! What could there be to rave about in the 1 inch notes section?

When I came home I jumped onto the speed dating website and entered my scores (7 “No Thanks!”, 0 “Let’s Talk!”) and in the next few days I’m supposed to get an email telling me who, if anyone, thought I was awesome. I sure hope I can sleep in the meantime from the excitement. And just in case anybody is still wondering, I will NOT be doing another speed dating night. EEEEVVVVVEEERRR. But I totally get “putting myself out there” points for this one!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Girly Stuff 101

OK, so it occurred to me that if I’m looking for a guy I should probably do something to make me seem more like a non-guy. (dame, skirt, gal, chick, etc.) I ran through the various options (sewing, cooking, ovulating, pushing something the size of a basketball out of my cooch, did I mention cooking?) and picked “Painting my toenails” Then I needed to find someone who had done that EVER to help me out.

Yes, that’s right. I said it. I’ve never painted my toenails. Or at least in my memory I’ve never painted my toenails. (which frankly, with my memory, means I’ve not painted my toenails since last I slept. Memory is hard.)

So lucky me, I have The Queen to help me with all things girly. For she is knowledgable and experienced in the ways of the girl. She wears make-up and does things all a-fancy with her hair (colors and the like) and wears pretty shoes AND she paints toenails! Perfect! Plus, as an added bonus, she already knows that I was born without most of the girl stuff (To CLARIFY: Girl PARTS = yes. Girl STUFF = not so much.) and accepts me anyway and doesn’t judge me when I never use moisturizing goo on my face and instead let it get all chapped.

(Well, doesn’t judge me very much. It’s just a thing for her is all. But if I never wear earrings? No judgment! I’m pretty sure no judgment. Very little judgment.)

So I went to The Queen and told her that I thought that it would be a super idea if she painted my toenails. And amazingly enough, she AGREED! What’s more, she took the spirit of the event to the next level and combined it with a chick flick and a whole girls night thing and it was so danged girly that the room was thick with estrogen and smelled like perfume and lingerie and diet soda!

And can I just say thank GOD that she was there to walk me though this, because there was way more to this then I knew. I mostly figured if I went to her she’d help me with the three things I was not equipped to handle:
  • Having nail polish (as I have none and she has more than none)
  • Picking a color (does it have to match your socks? Do you change it for the outfits? Confusing!)
  • Reaching my toes (I do NOT want to talk about it.)
But there were steps. Actual, bonafide STEPS.

First we put fancy powders into big bowls of hot (sorry, meant that to be HOT!) water and put our feet into the big bowls of HOT! water. Which is not exactly the thing – for her it was “and put our feet into the big bowl of HOT! water.” For me it was “put my foot in, and then out, and then just the bottom, and then up to the middle and then back out and man, this is really HOT!, and then more foot into water and then foot ALL THE WAY IN THE WATER and then foot totally back out of the water (and should it be that red? Look how not red the other foot is? What does it look like when you give your foot third degree burns?) and finally the right foot all the way in, and then the left foot all the way in and SERIOUSLY, THAT IS SUPER HOT WATER!…” Once the feet were both in the water we left them there for 10 minutes. I believe this was either to clean the feet or to soften them up or season them to seal in all the juices for when we grilled them over an open flame. Either way it smelled nice.

Afterward her Highness had a tub of stuff that looked like diaper rash cream but smelled like sun tan lotion. It was a cocoa butter stuff, and we rubbed it into the feet. At first I was freaked out because no matter how much I rubbed and rubbed and RUBBED the feet still felt gooey. I have always had a problem with moisturizers because of the gooey feeling. But being experienced, she sensed my freak-out and calmed me and made me STOP WITH THE RUBBING. It will soak in. Yes it will. Trust me. Deep breathes. Seriously, could you show me your uterus just for a second?… just checking.

Then we had to pick a color and The Queen had several to chose from. At first I went straight for the exact color she, and I, and anybody who knows me, would have expected, which was this super-pale pink, almost not a color at all. But at the last second I went nuts! Went for a real pink! A Mauve, in fact! (I really was swayed by the name of the color, and I don’t remember anymore what the color was. It was “SOMETHING mauve”, like “Magical Mauve” or “Maniac Mauve” or “Make-Me-Seem-Girly Mauve” Hopefully The Queen will remember the name and put it in the comments. HINT!) Lookit me, and more specifically my toes: See? I’m a GIRL!

So the last part was, of course, the actual painting of the toes. She was an artist. Colored totally within the lines, and when she DID have a rebel blob of polish she had this whole trick with polish remover and a Q-Tip and everything… I watched, but I don’t think I could fly solo even with all the watching I did. So now I have to figure out something I can do for her periodically in return for the future fancy nail polishing I plan to ask her for. Maybe set the time on her VCR or open a jar of pickles. Manly stuff.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I am Shiva, the Destroyer!

I have stories for you, my peoples. STORIES!




(I am also pretty amped. Sorry about that.)

I am loathe to ever blog about my work (having learned at the knee of the wise and powerful Dooce/Heather Robinson) but so overflowy am I with energy I must, MUST share with you. So I’ll just be super vague.

Basically there was a problem here at the office with a boss-ish-type person who was wreaking havoc and being generally more of a problem than a solution, and I roused the rabbles into action! I said (in a dramatic and awe-inspiring tone, which should have had some reverb if there were any justice in the world) that we’d had enough and that something had to be done and that we were the ones to do it! That it was the right thing to do and no better time than TODAY!! That we had nothing to fear but fear itself (which I totally made up myself, but do plan to stitch onto a throw pillow)! That my uncle had a barn, and I had a box of costumes, and hey, let’s do the play right here!!

I should probably consider it a bad thing that I get very jazzed by these kinds of moments. Where others get nervous and flitty and sweaty-of-palm, I find these moments, when the goal seems righteous and the battle noble, to be so enervating! We went to the powers that be and had our smooth, clear, concise say and they listened and they praised our smoothness and our clarity and our concisity (or whatever) and I honestly think they’re going to follow our suggested solution!

I just really like being presented with a wrong and charging into battle to right it. I think I need a dragon and a great, big sword. Don’t you think I’d look completely right on a dragon? And also with a sword? And I need a noble crest with a lion on one side (signifying how I’m lion-hearted and fearless and ferocious!) and a big, flapping mouth on the other side (signifying how I have no idea when to shut up and think that I can say just about anything and sell it, no matter how TOTALLY WRONG a thing it is to say), and with the words “Bring it, Betches!!” in latin (except “betches” probably doesn’t need to be translated because it’s universal). The crest would be purple (stands for purity), red (stands for passion) and white (stands for the creamy filling in a Twinkie. Mmmmmm, pure, passionate twinkie…..) and have wings in the corners to show how free of fear I am AND a parachute or big net to show how afraid of heights I am and also POLAR BEARS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO COOL!

(if someone actually creates a crest for me with these things and sends me the image I will send them a prize. I honestly will. AND I’ll add the crest to the blog. AND THE PRIZE WILL BE COOL! POLAR BEAR COOL!)

Bottom line of all this is that who needs a partner when I’m so amazing and valiant and brave AND humble AND jazzy (my tap teacher even said so last night! I’m jazzy!) and any dude who might come along and think him my equal would have a MIGHTY BIG DRAGON to measure up to!

(also if you have someone who is messing with you? Call me, I’ll totally take ‘em down.)

(and if you, yourself, are a big old bully or such you should LOOK OUT, because I’m comin’ for you.)

(and finally, where do you go to get a super hero outfit? With no cape, of course – they make my butt look big.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Act Five: The Family Tastic!

OK, so I know I started this last week and there were supposed to be 5 acts and there were only 4 and hey, what the heck happened to act 5 please? And I already knew what the fifth act was because oh look, I actually named it at the end of Act 4 so you’d really think that I knew what the hell I was doing!

But what you don’t know is that I started Act 5 several times. Bunches of times, in fact. I thought this would be the easiest one because it’s the one I know the best: my family! And yet SO HARD!

I started it and I’d write about fun things that happened with the family but they were already covered by games or food or WHALES! and I couldn’t figure out what the heck my point was. Which is dumb, because it’s only my point. It’s not like I’m being graded here – make your point, Femmie! Only when other blog posts began backing up behind this one, which refused to be written, could I really look at this question and see the problem. Which is this: it’s not about what I do with my family or stories of family fun times. It’s about the pure, magical excellence of just BEING with my family. Unfettered, uncomplicated, unobstructed family time.

OK, like this: I often take naps during the coast weekend. Naps right there amidst the fun and food and all, with people milling about and noise and singing STUFF. Because to me there is no better sleep in the world than sleeping in a room full of people. Your people. The weekend in the coast is like spending three days snuggled up on the bed of grown-up coats at a holiday party. Three days of just knowing that everything is ok and will be until you have to re-pack the car and go back to the real world.

I know to enjoy one’s own family so much is lunacy akin to naked power-walking over broken glass for most people. This lunacy has been my whole life and I’m super-jazzed that I get to watch the next couple of generations growing up being the same odd ducks with their friends. Forever will the family Tastic be those crazy people who enthusiastically spend days hanging out with their family members and hooray for us!

And thus endeth, AT LAST, Act 5! Back to our regularly, un-schmaltzy, even acerbic blog posts. Pardon the gush, y’all!

{OK, I know that this didn't actually hit the web until Wednesday, but I wrote it on Monday, but then there was this thing and also some other stuff and I THOUGHT it was all up and posted and "yay! done!" and then here I was looking at this post calling itself Act 5 but being a draft and ummmmmm... what? So I don't know what happened, but I'm still posting this on Monday. Hmph!}

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Act Four: Call Me Ishmael…

One of the things I most love about the beach by our beach house (and therefore I call it “OUR beach” because really it is) is that it often has whales. Honest to goodness whales. For those of you not recognizing the term, whales are hugely-huge water beasties which are largely considered to be both some of the most awesome things ever earth-invented and also sweet and amazing and everybody who knows whales love whales. And I know whales, and I REALLY love that each year we have excellent whale potentials at our beach! This year we had hints of whale here and there, but nothing to compare to the great whale extravaganza of ought-five. Oh such whales did we see that year! They were not just spouting, but also tail slapping and breaching and waving “howdy peoples in the beach house!” with their shiny little fins! (and by “little” I mean probably as long as me. And by fins I mean… well gosh, I sure hope it was a fin…) There is no better family for such whale shows as my family, because we respond like a circus crowd! We just lose our shtuff! Here is the normal process for whale-siting amongst the Tastic clan:

  • One eagle-eyed family members sees something on the horizon and shouts the traditional ‘I’ve seen a whale’ call, of “Spout!”, accompanied by spastically pointing out to the ocean. In case any of the group thought that maybe the spouting whale was on the beach, or maybe sitting on the deck or doing the dishes.
  • There’s a mad dash for the various pairs of binoculars all over the dining room table (or for me, I grab my camera and trusty zoom lens. Taking a moment now to reflect on how much I love my camera. And trusty zoom lens. …) and everyone starts scanning the ocean for plumes. And the one who saw it initially starts trying to explain where we should be looking. It normally sounds something like this:
  • “OK, so you see on the dune out there, where it points up? No, right there, where there’s the point-up, kind of like a look pointy point? No, to the right of that. More,… more,… ok, so now look right over that pointy point and to the right, and maybe ½-way to the horizon… see it? See it? Anyone see it? Well no, it’s not spouting right now, but if it were you’d totally see it!”
  • Eventually there’s a new spout and cheers of “FLOOOM!!!!” and now the hunt is ON!
  • With each new spout there’s new cheering. Better yet, when there are multiple whales we go CRAZY! We’re better than free-beer and liquid cheese night at the small-town ballpark! Clapping, hooting, happy-spouting-whale dances… good times!

This year, with the general lack of verified whale sitings we tried to recreate our enthusiasm with a pair of brown bunnies who would pop their heads up somewhere on the dunes between house and beach. And so desperate were we for wildlife adventures we’d all lose our minds with “Bunny! Bunny! Brown bunny, there on the grass! There! There! THEEERRREEEE!!!!” We even chased one poor bunny from the back deck to the carport in front and back around. (although you can’t really say we chased it because it got away from us almost immediately, was never actually seen in the carport (and probably never even came to the front of the house) and we were mostly just ‘chasing’ phantom bunnies. Wishing secretly in our heart of hearts that they were whales. But anyway.)

...tomorrow: The Family Tastic...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


What to do when Mamala Nature takes mother’s day weekend off and leaves you with wet-blanket and terminal killjoy aunt Rainy Pants? I already mentioned games, and also puzzles, and for some there was great joy to be found in the foozball table in the back family room. But when all else fails: FOOOOOD.

But allow me to back-peddle to the weekend before our coast trip, to the entire family sitting around planning the “who brings what” portion of the trip so as to make sure that we do not repeat the ‘weekend of being smothered to deathly death by pile upon pile of TP Rolls while simultaneously having no dish soap or garbage bags (with which we could have fought off the hordes of TP rolls I’m sure!)’ of 2005. And in that conversation we assigned snacks. ASSIGNED SNACKS. Because somebody actually decided that there was some kind of badness to fear from having not one but MANY bags of Lays thick cut potato chips or a MULTITUDE of cookie-foods or some possibility that our weekend would eat up all of the peanuts in the peanut-eating free world.

I understand the planning for the necessities, but let snacks be free, people, chosen of the whim of the shopper as they wander down the aisles of movie candy or crackers or even snacky fruit! One man’s trail mix is another man’s “Thank God I brought a one gallon carton of cheddar cheese goldfish!”

And so, despite our attempts to control and limit and impose our will on the snacks when the weekend arrived the balance of the munchie-consuming world was returned with each non-sanctioned additional back of cheese-powder-covered pretzels and cheap, generic, but still scrumptious bags of “orange slices” candy that was pulled from various bags and bundles!

All these snacks were in ADDITION to the fabulous meals already planned for the weekend. We attack both dinners (Friday and Saturday nights) with small, united forces of family clumps. “you guys are making a burrito bar with nachos and big, mexi salad on Friday while WE make chicken picata, with extra many and extra HOOGE capers and bread and veggies and pasta and CAPERS on Saturday” and hey, pass me that bag of grapes and the dark chocolate M&Ms please!

And lest we forget the culinary star of the weekend/show: the mother’s day breakfast/brunch, which is planned out by all the non-moms (or really is SUPPOSED to be planned out by the non-moms, but it’s just super hard for moms to not get involved! I believe it will be necessary to strap our various moms down in chairs in order to let the kids, dads and assorted non-mothers to do their things completely w/out help.) This year much was made of the need to reel things in a little bit, on account of this thing we were gonna do on the way home and which would require our bugging out early. AND YET still the mother’s day morning feast was eggs made ON DEMAND (as in “I’d like 2 eggs over easy and my friend here will have like scrambled with cheese and these seven dwarves will have seven petite omelets!”) PLUS fresh-baked pecan rolls and croissants and fruit salad and home-baked bread toast and fancy breakfast meat! Never ending, non-stop breakfast foods of good and glorious and WANTON abandon. And a happy mother’s day to you mothers you! And a non nom nom NOMMY NOMMY NOM!

And then maybe? Chocolate-covered orange slice pretzels dipped in cheese-powder and ranch dressing as a post-brunch SNACK!

May 15, 10:47am, edited to add: ALL HAIL THE FANCY BREAKFAST MEATS! I have pined for their bacony, brown-sugary majesty ever since writing this last night. Now I nom, nom, nom my own hand and wish it were fancy breakfast meat. I'll never make it to next May...

…tomorrow: Call Me Ishmael…

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Act Two: The Games Beach People Play...

OK, so once you get past all the “Wow, we’re at the coast and look there, that’s just a BUNCH of ocean right there is what all that is!” you come to “we gotta do SOMETHIN’ in our faboo beach house!” and also we are a people who love games. We love “you sunk my battleship!” games or “Gin!” games but we also love “super-complex-takes-30-minutes-just-to-comprehend-the-rules-but-SO-MUCH-FUN” games. And right now my special games-loving place has a massive thing-crush for this new concept: collaborative games.

These would be games where instead of it being me against you and you against him and us against them, it’s the players against the game. It’s good against evil. It’s humanity versus evil plagues of deathly-bad-pustulishy-boils and fatal hiccups and gas of death. Which are things you’d want to be against, right? And so finally when I and my favorite people all sit down to play something we get to be nice and friendly and collegial while playing the game the way it’s intended to be played! Genius!

Many games were played during our coast trip, as is always the way. But the two big events were both collaborative games of excellence: Pandemic (which is way more fun than you’d normally expect a pandemic to be!) and Shadows Over Camelot, where my Dad got to REALLY EXPLORE his inner King Arthur! Long story short, all of humanity was wiped out by three nasty plagues (sorry about that – our bad.) but the next night we found the Holy Grail, pulled Excalibur from that bitch in the water and just generally reminded the universe that though Might does not make Right, Knights make KICK ASS, BEOTCHES!!! As a bonus, we got to justifiably use phrases like ‘forsooth!” and “what ho!” and “my liege!” and if I’d had a jerken or cod piece to sport that night I totally would have!

Those that weren’t up for battling Black Nights and speedily-reproducing viruses jumped all over the puzzling portion of the weekend. We laid waste to not one but TWO 1000-piece puzzles because THAT IS HOW WE DO, MY PEOPLE! We are puzzling fiends, and I’m about to tell you the secret: (are you ready? Here it comes!) box lids. Lots and lots of box lids. We horde them in my family – not a single Omaha Steaks box or Avery labels box lid ever goes to waste around here, I assure you – but if you have to you go ahead and steal the tops of every other games box you own because what you want is a different box for every section of the puzzle!

You’re going through the pieces looking for those yellow/orange pieces of dirt road and rice crispies but you sure are finding a lot of the pieces from the giant mouse butt, as well as all that fuzzy, green border that looks like that sweater you hate, so you might as well throw those into their own box as you come across them, right? And that way when someone new comes up to help you can say to them “gosh, you could work on the giant mouse butt. It’s in that box right there.” (because you’ve got dibs on green sweater border, of course.) Sure, there’s a certain amount of turf disputes in our puzzling sometimes, but it’s not a game, people! (those are in the living room, with the people wearing the hazmat suits with built-in cod pieces. And also and by the way, HUZZAH!)


Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day at the Coast: A Play in 5 Acts...


OK, so every year my family cruises over to this rental beach house for Mother’s Day Weekend and we stay there through Friday and Saturday and most of Sunday. There are roughly 16 to 18 of us, give or take, and we have some specific goals each year:
  • eat
  • play games with gamey abandon
  • seriously, eat
  • puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, PUZZLES, puzzles!
  • inhale junk food like it’s about to become prohibitive
  • optimistically hope for the view of a whale, any whale, out at sea
  • hey, are you going to eat that? (yeah, me too)
This year was no exception and fabulous coastal time was had by all! So I present to you “Mother’s Day Weekend at the Coast: A Play in 5 Acts” (and by “play” I mean “here’s some stuff we did or that happened or something.” And by “5 Acts” I mean “5 blog posts”.)

Act One: Photo Phun with the Cool Cousin

I drove over to the beach house (a drive of about 2 hours) with my super-cool cousin. She’s more like a niece, in that she’s almost 20 years younger than I am, but then there’s that pesky fact that her parents are my aunt and uncle, thereby demanding that she be my cousin. There are rules, people.

Anyway, cool cousin (we’ll call her Pepe. She knows why) got into photography after the gifting of a grandparent’s very nice film camera when she graduated from high school and ever since she and I occasionally run off for fun-camera-artsy-adventure-stuff-day-things. Friday afternoon we hit the road and when we reached ocean views we started hunting for cool photo opps. We wanted tide pools, which we found, but we discovered that there were pretty much all under many, many feet of ocean. Some crazy thing about a “high Tide” which I’m pretty sure is environmentalist propaganda to keep nature all to themselves.

Eventually we found some excellent tide pool action amidst all this dramatic lava rock and we climbed hither and flan looking for “that magic shot”. (I never found magic – mostly the photo equivalent of pulling a quarter out of nature’s ear or a ninja smoke bomb) At one moment I was suddenly struck with the COMPLETE STUPIDITY of my clambering over these rocks, my most beloved camera (which I love and have GREAT love for and also wove-wove-wove and would marry if they’d let me) hanging around my neck, just asking for that moment where I trip and HULK SMASH on my precious big lens. Not to MENTION the constant threat of huge ocean waves crashing all over these rocks every 30 seconds, waiting for me to look the other way so that they could sneak up on me and swallow me up WITH THE MOST BELOVED CAMERA. If I’d ever found photo magic I know it would have been worth it, but since I didn’t it was just temporary insanity.

But it was fun, and I did pull that photo-quarter from nature’s ear, and nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

…tomorrow: the games beach people play…

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Perspective A-New

So there’s this one chick here at work who I think is super-cool. I mean SOOOOOPER COOL. I have a bit of a girl crush on her, and whenever she comes to my office (from her cool office in another building which is cooler than this building if only because she’s rocking that building regularly) everybody around here gets some second-hand cool too. She’s cool like that. I will call her Joette Cool.

She’s cool also because she’s single, like me, and that is rare around here. The only other single people within cat-whacking distance of me in this place are the 16-yr old student intern and a bitter divorcee who wears make-up like Madonna from the 80’s, is almost 10 months into her “change of life” and normally goes to bed at 8:30pm. So I love having at least one other single grown-up with coolness to spare around sometimes. Like we’re the first two members of some single-girl book club, only with less books and more being cool. The "Being Cool and not Really Reading Much in the Way of Books" Club.

Anyway, JC (Joette Cool) came in the other day with an iceberg on her finger like that what sank the Titanic! A rock like that what is forever being pushed by Sisyphus! A new, shiny, FABULOUS best friend riding around on her hand! Some smart dude snatched her up forever and ever, amen, and I couldn’t be happier for her (although I guess I won’t be confessing on my girl crush now!). She was telling the story of how he proposed (took her out to the restaurant where they had their first date, popped the question at the end of the meal, even got down on one knee, no report on whether they still had dessert or not, I’ll keep you posted) and how they took a trip to Denmark, from which he comes, so that she could meet the ‘rents and how there’s now talk of house buying and everything.

Somebody asked how they met, and guess what? ONLINE DATING/MATING/MEET YOUR SPECIAL SOMEONE WEBSITE! I won’t say the name, since someone there might be innocent, so instead we’ll call it E-Melody. (Get it? Get it? How amused am I with my own self? SO AMUSED!) Now I think I’m going to have to come up with a feasible excuse for she and I to go have lunch one of these days (which is only weird because we’ve NEVER, EVER DONE THAT and I’m mostly the admin girl with whom she banters so hiply in this office and who knows, she might not think I’m cool at ALL! AWKWARD…) so I can prick her brain on how someone as cool as she went through E-BunchOfPeopleSingingSimilarNotes and met someone and didn’t feel dorky or desperate and even found a marriable fellow.

Oh, and one more thing? Bitter Divorce says she could never, EVER do an online datey-matey website. She's too precious to do that. So Uber-Cool chick get engaged via online datey-matey and worst possible version of single me is too good for them.

I think I might have to re-evaluate things just a little...

Monday, May 05, 2008


Hey, know where I was? I was on VACATION! WOO HOO!!! And that’s the main reason that I’ve been so quiet. I was off somewhere doing relaxing things and I have no portable computerness. My only computer is plugged into my office and doesn’t travel, so while I was away the blog was quiet. (Right, because it’s been SO very vocal before that. Man, I suck so terribly that Dyson is trying to use me as the prototype for his next fancy Vacuum. Vooooooooommm.)

I've started to explain the vacation, but really it's the kind of thing that was cool for me (and the parents – they came too) but simply boring to anyone but me. In a nutshell, here are the highlights of my few days off:

-fairies in sculpted tu-tus and combat boots who were FEEE-RCE!
-masseuse turned gambler turned thief turned Buddhist monk
-the best basement cuisine west of the rockies
-floppy beach hats and shoes that were on sale, SALE for $80.
-a quick primer on “good luck!” and other things you DON’T say in a theater.

There was this one shop that we visited, which was a classic example of a place stocked by the world’s most excellent catalog shoppers. Pinecone Christmas ornaments hanging side-by-side with fancy art-puppets next to Asian scarves and bags and purses piled up with carved camels and spooky cat gargoyles and this amazingly lifelike sleeping dog, who it turned out was a real and soft and fluffy and super, SUPER mellow sleeping dog. Or possibly dead dog. But I’m rooting for super mellow and sleeping. This place also had these cool singing and dancing bowls. You fill them with water and rub the handles and they moan and groan, and the water dances and it’s just cool! It’s probably the closest I'll ever get to being Zen is with these dancing water bowls. Of course as is the case with all things Zen, it’s Zpendy. (couldn’t resist.)

Anyway, I’m back and all refreshed and springy and light on my feet and my fingers and it’s with this energy that I will rededicate myself to this blog at which I have tremendously sucked recently. Watch this space! SEE how I let you down once again! Watch as I faceplant all over my promises to be better! Or maybe? Maybe I’ll actually be all that I can be? I don’t even know what’s gonna happen next. Let’s watch and see...