Friday, August 29, 2008

Lost and Found Runners

I had to take the whole day off today. No exercising for me, thank you. I really overdid it yesterday, but not on purpose. It’s my broken internal GPS again.

When I first started dating Kent, he noticed that I always asked him for directions if I was driving. Even if I’d been there before. One million times before. When I’d turn into a gas station, for instance, I would not know which way to turn back onto the road to continue my route.

When Kent first discovered my “disability”, he thought it was cute. I warned him that in a few years the “cute” would wear way down and turn into “embarrassing” and then finally “ridiculous.” But he does still think it’s cute. His favorite trick is when we’re walking toward a parking lot to find the car, he’ll lag back a little just to see me get that dumb look on my face and scan the parking lot in hopes of remembering where I’d parked the car. I’ll stop talking to him a few steps before we get to the parking lot so I can start trying to retrace some path. Then I’ll just start walking in some direction that I chose randomly. Then he laughs and takes me by the hand like I’m a toddler who needs to leave the playground.

I think my lack of direction is an adorable personal attribute and I don’t think I’d change it if I could, except in one circumstance: Running. Yesterday I went running at noon, it was about 100 degrees and I was determined to train in high stress weather so that I could get tough. But then I got lost in the park. It’s a big park and there are lots of trails, but I’ve been coming to this park for five years! At every single Y in the road, I had no idea which way to go so I just ran. I still don’t know if I went the right way or the wrong way. I just know that I eventually ended back at my car an hour later. I almost had heat stroke and my quadriceps cramped up. I was bright pink for hours.

I wanted to look cool while I was running (walking) and I was really hoping none of the other runners noticed that I was going back and forth a few times before I’d move along. So I’d wave real friendly-like to everyone so that I’d look confident. I have thus completed a very important study: I’ve concluded that women like me have a sharp stick up their ass. After my hour long waving study, I found that old people, immigrants, young kids, and dogs all smile and wave back. Some even talk. There was a young couple out for a walk. The boyfriend was playing his guitar and singing to her while she walked by his side. I stopped and took my earplugs out and asked her if her Ipod ran on batteries or solar. She looked confused until I pointed at her boyfriend. She laughed. Then I asked her why she didn’t get an armband like mine to strap him to. Then she could jog with him, like I jog with mine. She laughed and smiled and thought I was witty. Until I saw them later and I was lost, and walking, and ran out of jokes.

But women my own age act like they can’t see me. Like they are so into their run that they cannot even manage to move their hand up and crack a smile on their uptight grill. But that doesn’t stop me, I just shout “Hi” until they’re forced to acknowledge me. I do it to be mean, even though it looks like I’m doing it to be nice. That’s a fun kind of mean to be; the nice kind.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Garden of Friends

There are two kinds of friends; Ivy Friends and Rose Friends. The Rose Friends need a lot of pruning, watering, sunshine, and don’t forget the manure. We have to reassure them that they’re important to us by always remembering their birthdays. You are expected to answer the phone during your favorite show to just “chat”. These friends are incessantly thinking of you and you had better be reciprocating the commitment of thoughtfulness. You need to give them little fertilizer nuggets of reassurance and care. You wouldn’t dream of missing their Candle-Lite Party or their daughter’s newest fart story. Everything is a petal on the rose of friendship. If you fail in this care and maintenance routine, your Rose Friend will wilt; she’ll loose her petals and die. Nothing but a big fat thorny bush will be left for you to deal with. You are bound to be pricked bloody while you’re pulling this rose out of the garden.

I’ve always had people who wanted to be my Rose Friend. They think I’m funny and erroneously believe that I’m thoughtful. They plant their green roots in my shallow garden and expect to be watered. I will usually remember to water a couple of times and then I get busy with other things and forget that I have roses to take care of. They start to feel the rejection and begin to wither. Well, who wants a withered rose bush? Not me. So I figure I’ll just let it go. That’s when they figure out they’ve set root in the wrong garden and move on.

The Ivy Friends are my garden pals. I forget to water them all the time and they still thrive without my attention. I sometimes don’t even see them for a year, but when I return they’re not just okay, they’ve grown! My Ivy Friends independently travel through their deep and curious roots to see other places and climb other garden walls and still have a place with me. My Ivy Friends survive through frost, draught, and clippings because they’re tough and enduring.

I don’t have to plan my friendship garden, it is self-designed. I have roses for about one season, but I have ivy forever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Falling Models

Is there anything funnier than someone falling? I was on my cellphone this morning talking to Nelly. I was running wild like a rabid wolf and not using my Bluetooth, like I said before, I'm real dangerous.

We were chatting about the triathlon when I see, right in front of me, a woman stumble and almost biff. It was made more entertaining by her holding a coffee in one hand and her purse in another. She was also wearing a dress and a pair of heals that she has not been practicing in. That makes it even funnier because her arms flail out and her little legs start to crumble underneith her. Hah!!!

If you think that's mean? Listen to this, I even laugh when old people fall! I can't help it. I really do love old people and I don't want them to get hurt, but its just how helpless they look that makes it so funny to me. See, now I'm even more dispicible.

When my friend Kathy falls in a parking lot or somewhere public, she pops right up and strikes a pose and then takes a dramatic bow, as if it were all a prerehersed slapstick show for the royal family. She does this even if she's totally alone. Isn't she awesome?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Boys don't have Boobs

I have a personal coach for the Triathlon. He's ranked 3rd in the country for his age group and he's actually willing to help me; probably because I know his mom. He's 13. There are a number of problems associated with our age gap. For instance, he just started high school so he's got his own problems. I think 9th grade was the worst year of my life. I was terribly shy and so my only goal was to disappear by looking and acting as much like everyone else as possible. This was pretty difficult, as I was a 5'10" white girl with red hair and going to a predominantly African-American school. But I tried anyway.

When I see my coach in public, I try to downplay myself because nothing is more embarrassing than a grown-up. I mean really. We're so stupid and we don't even know how to have fun anymore. Plus we dress like weirdos.

He's taken the time to chart out my training schedule with lots of swimming, biking, running, and weight lifting. He looked at my bike and reassured me that it used to be a nice bike (that's nice). Then he taught me how to pass people ... as if. He also explained how to negotiate turns without crashing into a herd of people. I was, however, more interested in fuel. My fuel, to be exact.

"What do you think I should eat?" I inquired.
"Protein bars during the race, pasta the night before"
"No, I mean all the time. What do you think I should eat everyday? How many calories, fat, carbo's, protein?"
"Oh! I just eat whenever I'm hungry."

Oh, I see now! Just eat whenever you're HUNGRY!? Wow, I've never heard of that, or ya, now I remember. YOUR A 13 YEAR-OLD BOY! How can I explain to him that when I eat "whenever I'm hungry" I grow food babies all over me. That's what I call my rolls of fat: Food Babies. Depending on what I've had for dinner, they might be named Luigi, or Javier, or Mac. They love me and hang all over me. Sometimes I have to tuck them into my low rise jeans when I sit down because they want to just pop right out and join the party. When my Food Babies need exercise, I squoosh them into spandex so they'll settle down and let mommy exercise. Thanks to my training, they're getting smaller, though. So are the fat wings.

I was talking to his mom last night and she's volunteered to be my pit crew. She used my place mats and tableware on my dining room table to demonstrate what the course will look like. She used a napkin to simulate my "transition area" and explained that when I'm finished with the swim portion, I'm to run to my "transition area" and slip on my sneakers .... "Wait!" I stop her. "What about my boobs?"

Because she's only been a pit crew for a 13 year old boy, she has no idea what I'm getting at. "How can I run in a swimsuit for Pete's sake? I'll need to strap these babies down." I'm talking like they're big or something. They're not at all large, just floppy. She waved at the question like an imaginary fly and said "You'll have to figure that out." Humph, some pit crew. I have to do all the work.

When researching this issue, I interviewed Gina who out-boobs me by at least two letters of the alphabet. She said I'll go to Fleet Feet and some nice young woman will hold my boobs in both her hands while she asks me questions. Then she'll tell me the exact right bra to get. Hmmm, I wonder what she looks like. Can I choose which girl it is? It seems like I could have all the clerks line up and I could decide who gets this great honor. I would inspect their hands and check for temperature and moisture. I would hate cold clammy girl hands on my boobs. I wouldn't want her to be too rough, either. Gina said she'd love to come with me.

Its only right for me to take care of my boobs, after all, a portion of the proceeds from the triathlon will be going to benefit saving boobs from breast cancer. If you go on www.thebreastcancersite.com and click, you'll be helping to provide women with free mammograms! That's just amazingly easy. So, don't be a breast hater, click on the website and let's smash somebody's tits in a cold steal clamper machine until they're as flat as empty mittens. It may save her life.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Carol Brady is sexy, right?


You know that picture of me on the sidebar? Yes, down there on the left; the one that looks like I should be sitting down for a long chat about your table manners. I look a little stuffy, don’t you think?

I can’t help it! I’ve tried to explain to my hair stylists and the rest of the world that I’m not conservative and they don’t believe me. No matter what, I leave the place looking like a TWA stewardess from 1973. I’ve always wanted to be petite, dark, and ethnic. But, no matter how much leather and make-up I wear, I look like a giant piece of good ole’ American Apple Pie a la Irish.

A couple of years ago, I told my hair stylist that I wanted a chunky shag. When my husband greeted me at the door, he exclaimed “You look like Carol Brady!” God, I know he was right, but I said “You better have thought she was hot!” He was puzzled because he, once again, thought he landed the perfect compliment.

Post Brady cut, I asked my stylist to do something really short, like a Mia Farrow kind of thing. On the way home I called my husband and told him his lines. This is a brilliant way for both parties to feel successful in a marriage. Because men, for the most part, just want to know the right thing to say. The problem is, they don't know what the magic words are. So, I tell my husband what to say when I smell a giant verbal fart coming. You might think this sounds a little bossy, but he always has the option to say his own lines. Here's the rest of the story that serves as an excellent example of why I should give my husband his lines, and why he should not improvise:

On the way home from the salon, I was recalling the Carol Brady comment that ruined my last haircut and decided he needed his lines so I gave him a call: "Dear, I'm driving home from the hairdresser and I have a new, very short haircut ..." I tell him its new and very short because he might not otherwise know. "... and here's what I want you to say 'you look very nice' and then I want you to give me a hug and a kiss, okay? That's it." He sounded bored and said "Okay." A few minutes later, I walk in the door and I give him a tentative smile while he quietly looks over my head with a loving smile on his face. He's confident and secure with his lines and he says "You look very nice, dear." Then he hugs me and takes another long look and says "you look very mature." So, then I knew that this was another hair failure and also I needed to enroll him in acting lessons.

Initially I was feeling pretty awesome and daring with my new short haircut. It takes a lot of guts to go boyishly short. There's always the possibility of being mistaken for a lesbian. I have no problem with lesbians but I prefer for people to know which side of the fence I fell off of, just in case I'm putting off any misleading vibes. Jesus, I don't want a bunch of women following me around thinking I'm up for grabs! Therefore, with all short haircuts, I have a self-imposed dress code which requires earrings and lipstick every minute of the day. That's a pretty serious commitment.

The other problem about boyishly short haircuts for me is that I look like a giant Q-tip. My husband says we look like big thumbs. Therefore, having a mane of hair makes me look more fluffy on top.

Lastly, boyishly short haircuts do not require a lot of "get ready" time. BUT, going to the hairdresser every six weeks to make sure I'm not growing a beard on the back of my neck is a big fat hassle. This is where I start showing my Y-genes: I hate going to the hairdresser and I hate pedicures. Its just so boring and long. My friends tell me they feel pampered. I feel like I'm being patronized and its true, I am. A patron.

I should start fresh with a new hairdresser and act like I speak Russian (I have to pick a language that no one else can speak) and then I won't have to participate in lifeless conversations about their kids and my kids and how short the summer was, and how hot, and everything else they don't really give a shit about and, the moment I leave the salon, they've flushed it out of their PEZ heads anyway. The other lure of acting like I don't speak English is that I'll be able to eavesdrop a lot better. And I LOVE to eavesdrop and hear things people don't know I'm hearing. Who doesn't? They're probably saying "Look at that lipstick lesbian - she looks like a cross between Carol Brady and a Q-Tip! ha ha ha"

I'm seeking a new style. I've called an emergency meeting with with seven ladies on Saturday night to discuss it over Sushi and Rock-n-Roll. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Life in a Burqas

I was at an amusement park this summer and there was this middle eastern family that I was entranced by. It was the father, wearing something boring and the mother, wearing a full on burqas (pronounced "Birkah"), and her little son of approximately two-years of age. We were watching our little ones travel around the oval track in miniaturized 18 wheelers with "Coca Cola" and "Pepsi" painted on the sides.

I was standing at the fence, waving at my daughter and acting like a teenage runaway hitch hiker on a lonely interstate trying to flag down a trucker. I'm trying pretty hard to get a silly smile from her and its working. As she laps in front of me, we lock eyes and "Snap" goes the picture. I got a few to choose from.

Then I glance over in the direction of the other family. The dad is sitting on the bench "resting" and the mom has the camera and is trying to get her son to wave. She is waving. This is all she can do. It was amazing to watch this mom try and get a smile with just two eyes and a hand. Then I wondered about other challenges with parenting in a Burqas.

For instance, sometimes I don't have to say a word, I just give my girls the look. I'm really good at it too. With just one look they know exactly how close I am to one of my little "fits". They can also tell when I'm hungry or PMS-ing by the look on my face. Or when one of them is going to tell so-and-so that I said "they can never go over to their house again because Mommy said she doesn't allow us to play with dangerous children who eat crap all day."

But honestly, I would trade it all for the wondrous joys of total body privacy. Just think about all the advantages at the grocery store: Some old fart cuts in front of you, just tuck your hand inside and give them the finger. Or how about when you have to buy tampons, ice cream and Pepto-Bismol all at the same time. What if you see that Mom who always gives you mean looks at school pick-up and she's big and ugly and you don't know what her problem is. She'll never know how scared you are because you look so naturally nonchalant in your Burqas.

Then there's all the dining out advantages. Let's say you really pound down some big dinner, order dessert and then your clothes don't fit. Not any more, 'cause you wear a Burqas! Eat whatever you want (although, I just need to admit that I don't know how to get the food in the eye holes and into my mouth). Did you consider the all-you-can-eat buffet? We could hook giant ziplock bags onto a belt, under the Burqas, and then just load up all the muffins and salad we want! So, its a money saver too!

Oh man, the money we'll save ... until the designers find out about our brilliant body tent, then they'll start messing with it. We'll have tericloth for summer swim parties. For Christmas, we can have them made in green and hang ornaments on the outside - Oh God, can we find a hat with a big star on top? Or a simple red velvet with a white faux-fur trim for special parties and family photos for the Seasonal Post Card.

I strongly encourage teenagers to wear them. Just keep an eye on her at school because she'll probably try and roll it up so everyone can see her ankles, the little hussy. Or maybe your daughter's a rebel and she'll slash it up and then put safety pins all over the God damned place. Or, if she's kind of artsy, she could splatter paint her Burqas and express herself. Wouldn't it be awful if they were tagged by gangs with spray paint? Oh, I'd hate to see a young lady walking down the street with "Chill'n Zs Bitch" on her back. Its not her fault, don't laugh.

There's a lot to consider, but mostly its a phenomenally great idea and I'm going to start wearing them right away. I'll probably start with a black one, because its so slimming. So, if you see me walking down the street, just come up and say "Hey Queenie! Love your blog!" and I'll probably give you a big hug ... or something like that.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Eighties Girl


I went to an 80’s party last night. Jealous?

This is a picture of me when I was only 25, posing with my long-time best friend Kathy. We were 80's Girls and I think we were beautiful.









If you want to take the 80'S TEST, answer the following questions:

If you wore pantyhose every day of the week (males excluded for the most part) …
If you know how to make an origami straw out of a dollar bill …
If you had shoulder pads that looked like super maxi pads …
If you owned Ray-Ban Wayfarers in black and white …
If you tucked your pegged jeans behind the tongue of your red leather Reeboks ...
If your portable stereo was the size of your current home stereo …
If you rolled-up the sleeves of your dad’s suit jacket and wore it to the club …

You were an 80’s girl

As my two friends and I, who I will call Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlisle in the interest of describing their attire, drove two hours to the party last night, Simple Minds played from my stereo. Siouxsie and the Banshees were rocking my soul and good stories were told.

I was a “hair model” for Sebastian Hair Products in 1983. They were launching their new hair colors: Cellophane Primaries in Blue, Yellow, and Red. My friend Maria, a fabulously gorgeous model-friend, had to do a trunk show, so she got me in. I was 5’10” and weighed nothing. I was a New Wave chick and all about edgy style.

I got the job and showed up at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco early the next morning to begin my transformation. All us little models were shoved into a large ballroom and there were stations around the perimeter of the room. At the first station, I met with the Ms. L.A. She was wearing a button-up man-style shirt that went below her knees. It was buttoned all the way up to her neck, from which hung tons of necklaces. She was so avant-garde that it was the next year before I had a shirt just like it.

She never looked into my eyes, just grasped my skinny little head and twisted it back and forth like a cantaloupe, raking her fake nails though my hair with little regard. She made some notes and handed them to me on a card. “Go to the next table”. I obeyed Ms. L.A. and proceeded along the tables where they would bleach the shit out of my hair. I think I had to sit under a giant alien hairdryer for about an hour. When I returned to the table they were disappointed, I could tell. Not by any words that were said to me, because nobody has a conversation with a cantaloupe and clearly that was what I had become to the crew of Ms. L.A.

I was sent back to the Bleaching Torture Lab where they bleached my hair AGAIN and sat me under that oven helmet for another hour with no magazine. I was worried that the burning scalp could be a bad sign, but I could not make eye contact with anyone of importance, and because I was a cantaloupe I had no voice with which to talk.

After the second bleaching the entire city of Los Angeles was satisfied. Then they informed me about the colors. “We’re introducing our primary colors this year; you’ll be Yellow” I really wanted to be Red, but this is not exactly a salon where you get to have an opinion. So the next station was where they put some rinse in my hair for a while and it smelled kind of nice. I guess it smelled yellow.

I went to my final station to get dried and styled. Another nameless woman from L.A. slathered Sebastian Mousse Forte on my head like whipped cream on a banana split and blow dried my hair in a upward vertical line while simultaneously spraying it with some hairspray that N.A.S.A. probably created to hold their ships together when breaking the sound barrier.

I was not allowed to see a mirror up until the final point. At last I was allowed to use the bathroom and it was there that I first saw the new me. I looked like a Flock of Seagulls Groupie and I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!! We all rehearsed and performed for the big show with flashing lights and music from Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Wham! They gave me $250 and a load of free products, including eye make-up that I still wear, Ha!

Yesterday, when my young friend who is just 25 showed up at my house for costume and make-up, I had a blast telling her how it was done in the ‘80’s. “Put on a ton of make-up and when you think its enough, put on more”. I showed her how to dry her hair upside down, and how to make your eyebrows nice and thick.

The ‘80s were a time for indulgences in everything and it was fun to relive it all for a night. This morning when I had to race my little girl to the pool for her synchro class 10 minutes after I woke-up, I glanced in the car mirror and saw my eyeliner that had cracked and was chipping from my eyes, the Brooke Shields eyebrows still colored in, and my long locks still clinging to a few loose curls from the hot rollers I borrowed from Gina the day before, and I still felt just a little bit beautiful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Pool Incident

Allow me to refresh your memory; I was recently camping with my daughters at a nearby camping resort - it was our first time there. The other guests were, dare I say "White Trash"? I know that's not okay to say, but since I'm white and trashy I think I'm allowed. There were other colors of flesh there too, but they were much more refined than My People. There were a few black families who spent time in the pool with their kids, keeping their kids busy with games and out of the important people (i.e., Grown-Ups). They did not bring gigantic trays of hot dogs and chips into the "No Eating" pool area. They did not smoke stinky fat cigars that make babies gag. They did not scream at their children at the top of their lungs saying "shut up and stop screaming!"

On our last day, there was a nice family who entered the pool area for what I believe to be their first day at camp. There was a mom, dad, and two-year old girl. They did not have plastic grocery bags full of junk food. She did not have tattoos commemorating each of her five children and their respective daddies. She did not have a melanoma-style tan, and she was healthy looking. I assumed incorrectly that they were from a different country. Adding to this hypothesis was the dad's speedo. "Either swim team or European" I thought to myself. I liked them and felt sorry for them simultaneously.

They scanned the pool area as if they'd just arrived at DMV and forgot their germicidal handy-wipes. They sat in two small white plastic chairs next to us. All the giant chairs and giant loungers were taken, of course. Then the Speedo Dad and Little Adorable Girl walked cautiously into the water. Step, step, step, splash.

After a while, the Speedo Dad and daughter walk back to Pale Mommy and he's got something in his hand which he tosses to the ground at the feet of Pale Mommy. With a splat I turn my gaze to a see a bright smile on his face. Almost with pride he giggles "She's been carrying this around with her. I don't know where she finds these things?" Pale Mommy and I stare at this small round sponge and I audibly gasp. She looks at me for the first time that day with wide inquisitive eyes and I say "Oh my God. I think that really is a sponge". Silence.

Speedo Dad doesn't know what I'm talking about, so Pale Mommy says in a I'm-a-part-time-chemist voice "It appears to be a contraceptive device".

"Time to go girls!" I shout. "Gather your things right now!"
"Why mom? Why do we have to go now?"
"There's a shark in the water" I wanted to say, but actually said
"We have to start packing-up".

As I was leaving I heard Speedo Dad try to reason with Pale Mommy
"This could just be a cosmetic sponge. Is it really necessary to leave?"

Ah, the sound of a sweet naive dad trying to reason with a super mom. What Speedo Dad does not understand, and will never understand, is that even if we find out its a fairy mattress, there is no fucking way we will ever let our children swim in THAT pool again. Period. Why? Because we gather information in our brains and whether its practical, logical, pragmatic, true, or possible is irrelevant to us. Its in our head now and we cannot get it out, its true to us.

Later that night, my 10 year old asks "What is a contraceptive sponge". My husband and I always give boring medical-style scientific answers to questions like these for two reasons 1) so they will have knowledge and not sound like kindergartners for their rest of their lives and 2) so they'll be so bored with our answers, they'll stop asking us questions and finally leave us alone.

I told her, in my very best Leave it to Beaver voice "When a man and woman still want to have sex, but do not want to have babies ..."
"STOP IT. I DON'T WANT TO KNOW" and she left the room.

Yes. When it comes to being a mom, I know my shit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

MODEL FLU

When my daughters were 3 and 6 I looked into my crystal ball and had a premonition:

Someday my daughters will hate to be with me. That's when I decided to force them to love me, at least once a year for the rest of their lives. I began our Annual Girls Campout. My dearest friend in the world, Kathy, has a family ritual that I was inspired by.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I L.O.V.E. rules!!! (I also love to fill out forms and remove splinters.) So I started conceptualizing my Girls Campout Rules:

1. Eat whatever you want, whenever you want
2. No pouting and whining
3. There is no reason good enough to miss Girls Campout including, but not limited to, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, broken limbs, work, distance, husbands, babies, or dislike of other guests
4. There will be no others allowed. Just us and someday your daughters too.

This year I almost had to cancel our trip due to what I will now call “Model Flu”. I woke up last Thursday and ran for the bathroom in a fuzzy panic. I completely lost everything inside of me through all of my exit hatches and then collapsed on the cool tile bathroom floor whilst gallons of sweat drained from my pale green pores.

Gina offered to bring over some suppositories for my nausea. Wow, I have great friends, right? Anyway, later she took time off work to bring supplies to my daughters who were caught in the crossfire. My husband, being safe at work, was not too concerned. Note: As I'm blogging tonight, he is flat on his back with the Model Flu.

The next morning, I wake up weak and desperately needing some nourishment and a shower, but mostly coffee. I also lost six pounds in 24 hours, hence the name “Model Flu.” Then I spent the next five hours shopping and packing for our camping trip and off we went.

I immediately regretted our reservations upon arrival. We were apparently smack dab in the middle of Party With Your Kids Watching weekend. There was a group of at least 30 people next to us who screamed and laughed non-stop until 11:30. Have you ever been to a raunchy bar and witnessed a really drunk woman screaming “Wooooooooooooh” for hours? Ya, that was it. When I complained at the front office, one of the camp hosts accused me of being jealous that I was not included. Hah! The nerve.

At 4:00 am the rooster from across the valley woke us all up. But it was freezing at night so I wasn’t really asleep anyway. That gave me time and reason to plan our escape. It was only a few hours later that I secured a lodge cabin at the campground for half-price. It had, are you ready for this, our own bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and air-conditioning. I was so relieved to be away from all those crazy drunks that the dirty finger prints on the roll of toilet paper hardly bothered me at all. I was fine with the discarded dental floss stick on the bathroom floor and used soap in the shower. I was living it up in the air conditioning, so scraping old eggs off of their dishes in the sink was fine by me. It really wasn’t until the Pool Incident that I totally understood where I was and I’ll have to fill you in on that story next time.

The Model Flu left me thin and weak, but I have to say ... and this is embarrassingly mushy, full of love and gratitude for all my friends who pitched in to help out. There was Gina who took time off her bad-ass super important job to bring me saltines, medicine, ginger ale, bananas, rice, and food for my kids. There was Tracy and Dave who picked-up my multiple food allergy daughter and fed her dinner that didn't kill her. Then there was Diana who took my shift on the gymnastics carpool and provided front door service for Katia. Either these are great friends, or they were trying to catch Model Flu and loose a quick six pounds.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

STARBUCKS NAMES

I’m screwed. Here’s why:

It is now 10:37 pm and I have no need to sleep. I only want to watch late night TV and play Spider Solitaire until the birds sing with morning sunrise. I might also need to make a few lists, an activity I partake in frequently. I’m a fanatical list maker. For instance, here’s a list of Starbucks names I’ve created for myself. I prefer to take on alter personalities based on what I’m wearing and how I’m feeling at any given Starbucks. I love to hear them call my new name out loud as I saunter, strut, skip, or walk quickly to my awaiting Americano.

Gabrielle – Used for days when I’m feeling sensitive or soft. I might be wearing a flowing skirt and my hippy sandals. I would glide over to the barista for this name.

Max – Useful name when I’m feeling very powerful and magnificent. I would be wearing some of my business-wear and clickity shoes. I would march to the barista for the name “Max”

Hot Mamma – I love to use this name when there’s a cute little young boy serving coffee because he’ll have to yell out “Hot Mamma, your Americano is ready!”. Then I’ll ignore him and make him yell out even louder “HOT MAMMA, YOUR AMERICANO IS READY!” By then most people will want to know who this HOT MAMMA is. That’s when I saunter to the barista, with my head held high, one eyebrow slightly raised. I especially love doing this when I’m alone because I feel very brave.

Papa Smurf – This is the name I give when I order my husband’s coffee (plain black drip) for him. He doesn’t think it’s funny at all and has asked me why I get to be Hot Mamma and he’s just Papa Smurf. The answer is obvious: its because I’m ordering and not him.

There’s a Starbucks in my grocery store so I have to use my real name, Sharon. But that name makes me picture myself with large square glasses and a bad perm. Like I might own so many cats that I have fur and cat urine on all my home decorated sweat shirts I bought on special at Wal-Mart in the 1980s. But they know me there, even though I’ve tried to stay away since I spent $100 on a new coffee/espresso machine. They still know me and haven’t forgotten my drink either (Grande iced half-caf Americano with light ice, just in case you want to buy me a coffee sometime). They smile at me with their young happy shiny little faces. They’re so SEDUCTIVE! I can smell the coffee beans and hear the whirr of the frappe blender.

Today at 4:00pm and I was in between meals. Really low calorie meals, I must say. I needed a little bit of calories and was in the Starbucks line looking over someone’s shoulder at the menu. I talked myself into a little lemonade. Saying sweetly to myself: “Sharon, my dear, you know you’ll never sleep tonight if you have caffeine so order something sensible”. But as I stepped up to my caffeine drug dealer (aka Starbucks employee) she smiled and handed me what they have discovered is my “usual”.

How could I insult her by asking for anything different, I ask you? How could I destroy that young girl’s life? If she thinks she’s made someone’s day better, who am I to deliberately crush her spirit. So I gushed over her amazing memory and thoughtfulness and left.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Team T.W.A.T.

I’ve won! Our triathlon team will be named something completely inappropriate, crude, childish, and perhaps even sexist!

TOUGH WOMEN ARE TRIATHLETES (T.W.A.T.)

Yes. That’s right, we’re the TWAT’s and I’m proud to be a member. You see, a name like The TWATs will weed out any sissies who might mistakenly believe that this group is just a bunch of really nice mommies out for some good clean exercise and female bonding.

Shirts and shorts being printed for our team and they are so wonderful and bad-ass I cannot believe they’ll be here soon!!!!! We’ll have lots of extras to sell to our fan base which I’m expecting will be HUGE. My husband, for example, is one big TWAT supporter. Actually, I’m thinking he should be the official Athletic TWAT Supporter. Lord knows I need one.

We’re going to have player names too. For instance, I’m going to be Big Red because my hair is red. I’m trying to talk G into being Monkey (you should read her hilarious comments under Deserted Island List). Don’t even get me started on our leg warmers and matching headbands!

Watch out world – the TWATs are coming!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

DESERTED ISLAND LIST

Here's what I'd bring if I had to choose just one ....

Album: U2, The Joshua Tree
I saw U2 perform in 1985 at the San Francisco Cow Palace. Truth be told, I bought a ticket and drove there but I didn’t actually “see” them play, as I was occupied with running back and forth to the bar. The entire night is a blank except for a few interlude visions of sliding down the cement walkway on my knees. I was wearing Guess jeans, the kind with the zippers on the ankles, and ballet style shoes that allowed the tops of my feet to be grated like parmesan cheese on the rough cement. For the next week I was subjected to giant scabs on the top my feet. I also completely blacked out of the following concerts: Berlin, REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Rush. With the exception of Berlin, I’m quite content with my lack of recall.

Food: Pizza with spinach, feta, and calamata olives
This may sound drab to most people, the lucky people who can pick-up the phone and “order” dinner. Here in my house, we NEVER get pizza. My children are complete aliens and don’t like pizza (or sandwiches, or bread, or cheese, or lots of other things that earth children like). My husband is always worried about his weight. Therefore, I’m neglected and I don’t get pizza enough to keep me happy.

Person: Definitely my husband
There are many practical reasons for wanting my husband on my Deserted Island. First, and foremost is FOOD. There is no way in hell he would starve because if he missed a meal, he'd get super cranky and chase anything down, kill it with his vice grip bare hands, and find a way to eat it. You may wonder “Why do you think he’d share it with you, Queenie?” The answer is that he needs me. That’s why. Who else would tell him when its time to get up, sleep, hunt, shave, launder, fetch firewood, and spend time with me talking about my new ideas? He’d just be lost without me. Also, he’s really smart and could probably make a radio transmitter with coconuts and rat tails.

Shoes: Just one? Asics Gel Kayano
I have lots of other favorite shoes like my Sumatra Velvet pumps by Naughty Monkey. Unbelievably high, sexy, and oh-so-me. But they are considered “sitting” shoes, if you know what I mean? Then there are my Birkenstock Cozumel sandals. They just scream “I’m a Unitarian from California and I went to a free-learning school called Synergy.” But here’s the deal; my feet are now paying the price for the cheap-ass 6 inch fuck-me pumps I wore in the 1980’s. But I cannot choose the Birks for my Deserted Island shoes because I’m not sure I’ll have nail polish and I don’t want to look THAT hippy!

The question is: What would you take to the Deserted Island?