Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm cold.

My forehead looks as though it might have a baby. Rather bulge-ish. Don't know where I got that from. Perhaps the result of a high wind in the birth canal?
Today is lovely outdoors. I walked Elliott and Petey and then went to B&N and Target. Where I discovered- when I am in good spirits, I love being surrounded by lots of people. Almost applied for a job at the B&N just so I could help others accomplish their Christmas shopping.
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I just looked through some Thanksgiving albums on facebook and noticed primarily that every single person related to Paul Deiss has the most magnificent bone structure of all time.
Also, I will be dressing up any future baby I might have as a turkey. A whole turkey. With little turkey feet boots and the floppy red thingy on the head and stuffing and feathers. It will not be able to move and can then safely be propped up in a corner for the holiday season and not dealt with.
My Thanksgiving was very nice, as always. My mother and aunts all have the whole process down pat. And it has altered not a stitch as long as I can remember.
Always, I arrive an hour or so early to find my father outdoors doing some sort of manly yard work while he waits for the turkeys to fry in the deep-fat fryer. This year this portion of the day was a little extreme, as my father retired three weeks ago and didn't make it four days without becoming so overwhelmingly antsy that he had to find a little something to fill the time. Like uproot and remove every single tree from our property with his bare hands.
So he did that. My yard now barren. My mother furious.
And as I climbed up the driveway yesterday, my father is bearing down on me with the leaf blower going full bore. I notice that when I walk down Monument Ave., and there are crews of men out using leaf blowers, they will turn the blowers off if they see a pedestrian approaching and wait until said pedestrian has passed by before resuming.
Not my dad.
I receive a one armed hug and some sort of greeting that I cannot make out due to the 900 Rev Horsepower Blow Your Flesh Off Glory Hallelujah that is gunning in my ear.
I casually toss a greeting to Molly, our beautiful round fluffy dear Sheltie whom no one really cares about right now because of the puppy.
I don't see Jazz, my cat. Not unusual. Jazz is a hard, seasoned bitter old cynic who decided years ago that though she is fed and pampered quite lovingly each day of her life, she saw no reason not to effectively kill every creature in the woods behind my house smaller than she is for the past 15 years.
She's moving up though, as I am certain she is going to kill this puppy.
I find the puppy. Helpless waves of giggles and smiles overtake me despite my best efforts.
Oh my God the puppy.
Rather than socialize with my family, I spend the next twenty minutes flat on my bottom on the cement floor of the garage peeling a scab away from the under elbow of the puppy's left front leg.
Calling it "the puppy" makes it cuter in my head that calling it "Mya."
Jazz strolls by somewhere in here, delivers a stinging backhand to the puppy's face, and continues on her way.
So let's see. I go in the house, where my mother is, as always, clad in a crisp fresh cotton apron printed with things like irons and calla lilies. The parade is on the tv. Which I love. I keep thinking I want to go to that parade one year, but then after having lived in New York for a while, I think it would be horrible miserable furious experience. Might need to be in it one day instead. Doesn't matter much doing what. Could be me on a giant float made of cake and shaped like the grouchy Carebear.
My mother instantly asks me to put ice in the glasses.
Now. My duty, as well as my brother and various cousins' duty, all our lives has been to go around with a pad and pencil and officiously find out what everyone would like to drink. Then the ice bit was added to the job. Without fail, my mother suggests me putting the ice in the glasses a good hour and a half before the guests are due to even start arriving. I talk her out of this this year. I talk her down to half an hour. Which still meant the ice was 2/3 melted, but it's progress. As a side note, I also snap the dainty ice tweezers or whatever they are in half 15 seconds into the job. Threw them out.
The parade goes off and the dog show goes on. I become worthless to everyone for the next hour.
I wander around the house on commercial breaks eating the random snacks my mom has set out in the good cut glass bowls. This year, these are large mixed nuts (X), goldfish crackers (check), and these white chocolate peppermint drops with sprinkles on top. I clean out this bowl before anyone shows up.
My father and brother, meanwhile, are outdoors setting up the ping pong table in the garage. For that is what they do when company comes over. My mother is keeping busy removing casseroles from the oven, transferring the contents of the casserole dish into another dish, which I then begin to take to the table and am told that no, this is just the intermediary dish between baking dish and presentation dish. All this is beyond me. I ask why the extraneous dish. She says she wants to use her mother's china. I can get behind that. But it sure makes for a comical amount of dirty dishes.
At this point my Aunt Ruth, Uncle AJ, and cousin Adam arrive. Aunt Ruth is on my side in the kitchen, which helps. Instead of asking why there are four separate spoons allotted for the chopped chives, we just meet eyes and smile. Everyone makes a brou-ha-ha about the puppy.
Oh my God the puppy.
Then my brother's girlfriend arrives. Looking like a young professional woman. I think, great. This is what my father wants me to look like. Nice fitted jeans, a "TOP." A tasteful necklace, some ankle boots. X. I am looking a lot like a blind dizzy bag lady.
My Aunt Debbie and Uncle Glenn are every year late. Every year. And every year, they bring raw oysters that we then have to take the time to fry. This year, fortunately the oysters had been parlayed into a questionable "seafood" casserole. You couldn't identify anything by looking at it. Except bread crumbs and some gelatinous off taupe-colored ooze. It was good.
They bring my grandmother Rassie. Who of course looks amazing and is wearing what appears to be a brightly colored top from Forever 21.
I feel a little bit as though it would be nice for there to be another extremely old person or two at my family gatherings so my grandmother could have a cohort. It could happen. She is being ardently pursued by this randy bachelor with plaid pants and a red face named Linky at the assisted living facility. He can get her to crack a smile. Which is doing something.
My brother, myself, my cousin, and my brother's young professional sit at a smaller table in the room adjacent to the dining room. We like this because we are without fail all overtaken with severe giggles just overhearing the conversations in the next room and feel safer at a distance.
We like listening to them all say things to each other like, "what a lovely spacious room!" and, "so after dinner, I thought maybe a walk and then supper around five thirty or six?"
We all vow that we will not talk about things like that, which seem to be obvious POLITE CONVERSATION when we are in charge of Thanksgivings. I'm sure we will though, at least some.
This year the conversation was heavy on persimmons.
My brother stands up abruptly and spills my glass of tea all over the place. We spot the neighbor girl coming out of her house across the street and all make snide remarks about how large she has gotten. Mean. But I was speaking from experience. You shouldn't have seen me when I went to college.
My uncle Bert then slices the pecan pie into slivers the width of a tooth, which are thus next to impossible to serve out of the pie pan. Is because when asked what dessert they would like, every woman in my family and my Uncle Bert all say, "just a TIIIIIIINY piece. And I mean TINY. No no Bert- that's HUGE. I said TINY."
Except Uncle Bert. He does not say this to himself. I think secretly Uncle Bert actually likes his piece of pie to be visible to the naked eye.
Uncle Bert is great. Tall, handsome, smart, funny. He uses the expression, "squared away," which has made my brother and I giggle since we were little.
Everything is delicious. My mother is a fabulous host.
Right after dinner MY COUSIN Adam and I snap into the kitchen and begin efficiently and silently cleaning as fast as we can so as to avoid as much as we can of the largely ineffectual crowded melee that cleaning will become when everyone gets there.
Then the young professional's daughter arrives. My father immediately becomes the world's best candidate EVER for being a grandfather.
The puppy bites my face.
I put a Diet Coke in my pocket and leave.
My family is great. Kindest, most wonderful loving mother in the world, most wonderful smart father in the world, funniest aunts of all time, cousins that get my jokes, uncles that are all so funny and different. And my brother. He's pretty great too.
And the puppy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Debra said I should write another blog.

So. Things I have learned today.
1. Lasagna crotch is not as funny as you think it is going to be.
2. Sometimes I can get really peaceful and terrifyingly happy just walking slowly alone down Monument Ave. in the wet leaves at 10:45pm.

My fingernails are painted. I always like painting my thumb nails, because they are large and allow room to spread out. It is easy not to make an error there, and when I see them sparkling up at me in a shade like my new fancy red glitter, it makes me almost smile.
But the other nails are a pain in my ass. I am always splootching over onto the sides of my fingers and that irritates me to high heaven and makes me irrationally angry and inclined to give up on everything.
Working on those impulses.
But I decided Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre has her fingernails painted the colors of the American flag and damn it, so she shall. Unless I decide to go back to fluorescent orange, or to apply the Disney princess nail tips that Adam and Maggie purchased for me at Target.
The Droops have gone to California and Herndon for Thanksgiving and left me here and responsible for watching the cat throw up for four days. But don't worry, I have experience.
My brother got a beautiful precious perfect adorable goo and piddle puppy. Her name is Mya. Which X, because what isn't named Mya (or some variation thereof) anymore, and also I feel her name should obviously be not Mya, but something that hasn't occurred to me yet.
When asking someone the question, "Am I allowed to say crotch?" via text message, remember to provide the context of the question as well.
I need a replacement right pinkie finger.
Urgh. I'm tired.
Aaron seems to be an idiot.

3. when ironing linen, spritzing it with water first helps tremendously.
It would be beneficial I think, for people to apply the principle of Thanksgiving to every day of their lives. Difficult, but beneficial.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I can't imagine who would send Adam all these texts. Hmm.

Well, Betty has popped another air mattress. X Betty.
Suprise is made of plush. And yes, his name is spelled "Suprise." Because that is how you say it when you talk to him.
Or how anybody ever says the word "surprise."
It is cold and rainy today. I embarked for brunch with one of my roommates and his friend Richard wearing my new soft pink beret and soft pink scarf and soft pink t-shirt in an effort to combat the weather conditions. No. After my shower will immediately change into all navy colors and dense fabrics. Maybe some snow boots.
Lola Lola Mashed Potola just walked by me. This is only worth noting because that means she was in my room and I didn't know about it.
What did I do yesterday.
Well, yesterday was Halloween actually, but I felt like we had Halloween the day before and yesterday was just brutal wasteland aftermath.
Hannah rang me up and proposed having a jaunt with various friends to Kings Dominion on Friday night. This sounded great. I like roller coasters a lot. Especially going on ones that are very intense and then acting calm about it. Makes me feel like I've really gone above and beyond. Above and beyond what I don't know. Maybe above my imagination and beyond all realm of sanity.
But lately, roller coasters have begun to turn my stomach. Just a hair. But enough for me to notice and think, "oh x. this is what adults say about roller coasters- they make them sick in ways they didn't when they were young."
Oh well. Stuff like that actually happens. Like seeing college students and wondering if they are on a field trip from middle school.
So anyway. I was excited. Then Hannah follows up with a text proposing Ashland Berry Farm instead. So I peruse the website. According to the website Hannah is throwing over plans for roller coasters and funnel cake in preference of sitting under a gazebo drinking Earl Gray and gazing at tea-lights.
I call her immediately.
She informs me about the famed haunted hayride that goes down Octobers at said Berry Farm.
I AGREE we should go.
So I issue invitations to pretty much everyone I see.
Everyone seems pretty excited. Yvonne says she will not go. She is the first person to arrive.
We begin the evening by The Droops and I having our ritual Mexican date (with the lovely addition of Anna) at El Toro Loco. We like this. It is always a game to see just how many jackets I have to bring to be able to endure dinner without coming down with gangrene.
Also a game to see how to get any single person on the waitstaff to actually bring Maggie a side of sour cream.
We are getting pretty good at both of these games.
Adam and I always find a good handful of babies in there that are nice to stare at. We both have that creepy proclivity toward chewing on fat baby cheeks.
I have decided that when Margaret and Adam have a kid, I should try to work out a kid at about the same time so that he and I can go to the baby costume store and buy 365 baby costumes. One for every day of the year. He likes it when babies are vegetables. I think this is good. A baby dressed as a zucchini. You cannot go wrong. And my baby will be things like, a scrapbook. A bag of granola. An ottoman. A dulcimer. And of course, the requisite tubby round things like a persimmon and the earth. So many costumes.
Really mad about my flat mattress.
So we eat. Then the three of them go off to "Souvenir," and I go home to try on necklaces and sing heart-wrenching love ballads from "Chess" while I wash the frying pan.
Then it is time to meet over at Hannah's.
We meet.
We go. We drive all together in a tour van. Which was fun and I probably shouldn't go into.
I love riding in the backs of trucks. Lying down and looking at the sky as you drive.
But we get there. I have no idea where we are. It is a huge forest. There is mist hovering three feet above the ground as far as you can see. And a drizzle. Just enough of one so that it takes hours to actually become damp. Perfect Halloween.
Also the entire human race.
Line for 3.5 hours. No kidding.
I squat, I tap dance, I make conversation with people I don't know. Desperate times, you know.
We go on the hayride. The hay is damp and it is dark. It is midnight by the time we get in the wagon.
We are driven out a curving dirt path and dropped off to wait in another line. We decide this is the only way the people running this outfit can get the patrons to wait in lines this long. By shipping them out into the middle of the woods and having them resume line at that time.
The line curves through the fog and mist up to a giant bonfire. Everyone gets to the bonfire and then like lemmings, gullible lemmings, all crowd around and stare into the flames.
I, however, have read lots of books and therefore trust the motives of no one and no thing, and am fully aware that this bonfire is a device to cause your eyes to become adjusted to bright light. So then, when you enter the woods, you SEE X.
And are thusly super more freaked out.
I feel very much like a wise old special agent standing in the rain silently thinking about this.
We go into the woods. I am recruited to go first by all parties involved. Well, that's not true. Matt goes first right up until the entrance to the trees. He "goes first" by executing a very sprightly "Off to see the wizard" step.
Then I go first.
Determined (for some bizarre completely uncalled for reason) to prove I am not scared, I stride briskly along. I have enveloped my entire body in a "THINGS ARE GOING TO TRY AND SCARE YOU AND YOU WILL. NOT. FLINCH." attitude. I think, "this is silly. It is ok to be startled." But then it becomes a game. See if I can NOT flinch.
I don't. There are dark black mazes where there is only space enough to crawl. Everyone is shrieking and carrying on. Most of the people in my group are actors so I realize we are spoiling all the fun of the workers there by commenting to them when they try and scare us, "Oh wow- that was really convincing. Well played."
We are so smug.
Then we get back in the van and I fall almost asleep. Then we are stopped and I pop my head up over the window and see that we have arrived at a Waffle House in somewhere I have certainly never been before.
We sat at the bar in a row. And I didn't say anything. I was a. tired, and b. absolutely in awe of the expediency with which the staff of this Waffle House fried and waffled and added and wrote. Think that level of productivity must be very satisfying.
Then we go home.
3 a.m.
The next morning feel like I have just come back from sky-diving without the parachute.
We all straggle up to rehearsal clutching with white knuckles our various coffee mugs and enormous bottles of caffiene.
Rehearsal was fun. We danced. I really like the Magic Foot choreography. And the pas de deux choreography. They look great. Whenever I see pas de deux's I want to do a dance where a man picks me up in a pretty fancy lift and I point my foot. And cast down my lashes and all that hooey.
Matt Shofner and I see Katrinah in the Rite Aid. This was very exciting for the two of them. Less so for me, as I see Katrinah all the time.
We all go home to GET READY.
Adam and Anna have painted themselves and look incredible.
Margaret is a zebra and looks incredible.
I am Rainbow Brite and certainly look very colorful. Was such a fun outfit.
I pass out some candy on an awesome porch (see- I did get to sit on a porch and enjoy it) on Rosewood Ave. Very sweet children. Who, as they were not born then, find Rainbow Brite to be a rather intimidating figure.
Ellie and Jon, as usual, have an excellent party.
Excellent cast at the party.
I peeled a bullet hole off of the forehead of Chris Stewart.
Then I drove Pocahontas home.
This morning we went to Galaxy. I ordered a chocolate milk, which I housed. In two swallows.
I think, perhaps when one enjoys something this much, one should slow down and savor it. And I think that's valid. But sometimes I think, just get as much as you can as fast as you can and LOVE it.
When the exhausted waitress with her dreadlocks (which I learned today were initially grown so God would have something to grab onto when he reached down out of the sky to snatch you up- which I feel is not saying very much for these people's opinions of God's athletic skills) arrived with my platter o' pancakes, I see how thick and porky they are and bounce in my booth like an excited 2-year old. This, I notice, makes the exhausted waitress smile.
The three of us finish the Brick crossword.
We are now sitting in the den.
And I have to dry my hair and go to "Youno's." This is how my mom pronounces "Uno's."
Then.....Mad Men?
I have never done all out on Halloween like that. It was fun. I now have freckles.