Monday, August 31, 2009

(S)he's a Bad Mother ---- Shut Your Mouth!

When we last met with the Bad Moms' Club, they were camping in the woods. This weekend found them - er, um, us - in the woods again.

We have had this trip planned for several months now, so when the skies decided to open up and dump upon us Friday afternoon, just as we were scheduled to leave, we grabbed umbrellas and rain ponchos and said, "Bring it!" It takes more than thunder and lightning and torrential downpours to scare Bad Moms. The ultimate Bad Mom - Mother Nature - rewarded us for this attitude by clearing the skies by the time we arrived and blessing us with the most beautiful weekend weather we could imagine.

We camped at the same site - recognizable by what I like to call "The Tree of Anatomy". That's because I am far too refined and sophisticated to call it what everyone else called it. Take a look and come up with your own names. We're gonna ask for that site again - it seemed appropriate for a gender specific howl at the moon camping trip.

My sister had the shrine set up, with a few additions. Buddha joins us, now, as well as a jackass. (Yin and Yang, baby, gotta keep things balanced.)

Since we decided we didn't want to be a one song jukebox, the Patron was left behind this weekend. But fear not! There's always room for jello!

Johnna makes her jello shots more like jello jigglers. The benefits of this are twofold:

1. Less liquid = stronger shots
2. How much fun is it to eat your shot like a cookie?

That Johnna? She's ok.

Of course those of you who recall our last camping trip know that just because we're camping doesn't mean we have to eat hot dogs on a stick. We started Friday night's repast with a little bit of Bad Moms Brie. Then we moved on to a delicious salad of baby greens, dried berries, walnuts and goat cheese. We had soaked some corn on the cob and thrown it on the fire earlier in the evening. After our salad course, it was good to go. It was so tender sweet and tasty that it required neither butter nor salt. There were burgers, which were also delicious, but most of us opted to split one, as we'd already filled our bellies with such fine fare.

Those of us who rise with the sun couldn't figure out how to raise the little canopy, so we made and drank our coffee right under it. The three of us who enjoyed this thought it was a pretty cool little clubhouse and considered slapping a "No Boys Allowed" sign on it. The rest just gave us a rash of crap for not being able to prove ourselves smarter than the canopy. Oh well. No clubhouse cowboy coffee for you.

You may recall that my sister is the queen of the camp breakfast. She makes massive quantities of hash browns with onions and pepper and garlic and just a hint of butter. (hint : stick as potato : potahto)

In our two breakfasts, we had bacon, sausage and ham.

The eggs which she also prepared were delicious as well, fried in the remnants of the bacon.

Nom nom nom nom nom.

But Saturday dinner - oh, ya'll - Saturday dinner. We started of with another wheel of Brie. This time we prepared it with roasted red pepper salsa and honey almonds. We served it, as usual, with bread toasted over the fire. When that was gone (and let me tell you - seven hungry women, one wheel of Brie - it wasn't long at all before it was gone) we had our first round of fondue.

Round one included shrimp, scallops, filet mignon, chicken and pork along with a vast assortment of dipping sauces provided by our lovely Tastefully Simple representative. (How do you like my mad pimpin' skillz?) This was followed by Gruyere and wine fondue with pretzels and more fire-toasted bread. Do I have to tell you what came next? I don't, do I? You know what came next. Next, of course, came the chocolate. The chocolate course was served with assorted fruits, pretzels, brownies (Chocolate on chocolate. 'Nuf said. ), and an almond pound cake that was the bomb even without the chocolate sauce. (That was also provided by our Tastefully Simple lady and - I swear - I wouldn't be pimping it this much if it wasn't just. that. good.)

Of course even Bad Moms can't indulge like that without feeling the need to work a LITTLE of it off. So we hiked.

Kids, I had almost (but not quite) forgotten how much I enjoy a good hike. We took several. They were glorious.

Johnna in row 1; Row 2 is Lisa, Wendy, Me and Amy

Our guru, Diane, was so inspired by the setting, she turned a little routine stretching into an impromptu yoga session. She IS the warrior!

Impromptu yoga sessions were not confined to the woods. Here's Amy demonstrating the little known but demanding practice of aqua-yoga.

We rented a 22 foot pontoon boat for the afternoon Saturday and enjoyed a peaceful afternoon on the lake.

Well, we enjoyed an afternoon on the lake, anyway.

After a hard day hiking, tubing, drinking and eating, who wouldn't want a nice invigorating foot bath back at the campsite? Roughin' it doesn't have to mean rough feet.

Happy Campers.

Wendy, Lisa and Johnna

We - at least I - went home happy, balanced, and sore. My legs and back are sore from the hiking. My stomach is sore from the laughing. Sore isn't always such a bad thing. Not bad at all.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Good, Better, Best - Never Let it Rest - Till Your Good is Better and Your Better is Best

And the award for the longest post title goes to:

I am notoriously bad with awards. I apologize. I am always thrilled and honored to receive one, but I am ridiculously bad at passing them along. I never want to single anyone out.

Also? Often the attached memes are difficult for me. Things you don't know about me? Hah! I am such a naked blogger my computer sometimes blushes. Then it offers me a robe. Because not all naked is good.

Recently I have been honored to have been awarded with the following accolades. I know for sure I am missing one or two and I feel bad about that - I think I received a couple when I was on vacation and I was just off my schedule then. If you gave me something and I did not respond, shoot me an email and I'll rectify.

So, without further ado, here are the awards:

JennyMac at Let's Have a Cocktail? She thinks I give good blog. Yes, well, erm, uh... blog! Oh BLOG! Thank you, then! She gives good blog, too.

This one is to be passed on to four folks who I think give good blog. They need to then pass it on to four folks who they think give good blog, and so on, and so on... Eenie, meenie, minie moe; I pick:

1. Kel at Housewife Savant
2. Ginger at De-Composition
3. Mary at Shaking the Tree (welcome her back!)
4. Sandy at It's a Jungle Out There

Melissa B. at The Scholastic Scribe? She thinks I'm a Superior Scribbler. High praise, from the original Superior Scribbler herself!

The rules for this one are:
  • Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog
I'm passing this along to the following Superior Scribblers:

1. Alex at Please Try Again
2. Mama-face at Blog Ignoramus
3. MiMi at Living in France
4. The Redhead Riter at, um, The Redhead Riter
5. Sparkle Farkle at Sparkle's Soup of the Day

Vivienne at The V-Spot? She inspired the title for this post, actually. She agrees with JennyMac that I give good blog. (What a loquacious little ho I am, no?) and she also thinks I'm worthy of the Best Blog award. Holy buckets, my head is getting big. (Comments about head and giving good blog should be kept to yourself. It's the polite thing to do, and I'm all about manners.) As far as good and best go, Viv, takes one to know one!

The You Give Good Blog award I've already passed along.

The Best Blog Award, I would like to pass on to:

Jenny Penny at Welcome to My Momplex

Last but not least, Freegal1000 (you may know her as Ella Numera Dos), at Moo? She thinks I'm Honest Scrap material. She's just getting started in this bloggy game and she is a superior photographer, so you should definitely pay her a visit.

Here are da rules:

  1. “The Honest Scrap” award must be shared.
  2. The recipient has to tell 10 true things about themselves that no one else knows.
  3. The recipient has to pass along the award to 10 more bloggers.
  4. Those 10 bloggers all have to be notified they have been given this award.
  5. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them.
I'm going to pass this along to the following deserving folks:

1. TeenAngst at My Sharpest Lives ('cause she's my daughter)
2. Shelby at Keeping Up With Z ('cause she's my niece)
3. Liv at Dark Chest of Wonders ('cause she's my other daughter)
4. Tom at Adventitious Cerebration ('cause he's my husband. Thus ends the nepotism portion of this awards blog.)
5. Mz. Behavin' at positively neurotic me
6. Anita at A Wife, A Woman, A Mom
7. Carma at Carma Sez
8. Scrappy Sue at My Home Wellingtontown
9. Unknown Mami at, um, Unknown Mami
10. Gibby at Lost in Suburban Bliss

In response to the requirements of the Honest Scrap Award, and without further ado, here are:

Six Things You May Not Know About Me: The Athletic Edition
(That's right. Six, not ten. I tried to make 'em count, though, for what that's worth...)

1. Doing 'the athletic edition' was inspired by Mama-face's post about her son's climbing adventures. It reminded me of something my very best and oldest (and by oldest, I mean they've been my friends the longest, of course, not that they're old) friends don't know about me. Mama-face knows, 'cause I told her in her comments. When I was a young 'un, I wanted to be a mountain climber. I loved the mountains and I loved hiking. Seemed like a logical next step. I obsessed about it for more than a couple years. I read voraciously on the subject. Now no-one say "it's never too late". It is. It's too late. And that's ok. But it was once a dream.

2. In elementary school I had a well-intentioned gym teacher who let me bounce a big red ball when I had trouble dribbling a basketball. His goal, I realized once I was a teacher myself, was to allow me to experience success. The actual result was that I felt humiliated and singled out. If they'd offered remedial gym, I would've been a candidate. Man, I hated gym.

3. I hated gym so much that in college, when presented with the prospect of 2 semesters of ROTC or 3-4 semesters of gym to fulfill a requirement, this junior peacemonger, this future pacifist, signed up for ROTC. It was 1980 and I couldn't have cared less about the ROTC, I was fulfilling a credit requirement and skipping gym. I didn't wear the requisite T-shirt under my uniform, which, by the way, I unbuttoned low and popped the collar on. Suck it, gym class.

4. I was on the girls' track team in its inaugural year at my high school. I had no business there. No. Business. At all. I was a disgrace to our team and I knew it. For what it's worth, I DID work hard. I practiced. I tried. I was never gonna get a decent time on that 220. Just wasn't gonna happen.

5. I love to walk, but hate the treadmill. I don't even try to run anymore. An attempt would almost assuredly result in (worse than they already are) shot knees (and black eyes). I used to dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. It may actually NOT be too late for that. But I'd need to sleep in a real bed at least every third night and any night it was raining. And also if there were bears.

6. Once? In that elementary school that didn't have remedial gym but should have just for me? I ran the wrong way for a touchdown in flag football. Yep. I was THAT kid.

Oh, and here's a little additional perspective for free: My dad was a jock in high school and college (four letterman, held the pole vault record until they introduced spring loaded poles) and a coach later when he became a teacher. Let's just say I was never the golden child in our family.

Ah, my head feels much less inflated, now. Nothing like a humiliating revelation or two to keep all the award hubbub in perspective.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Can't You Read the Sign?

Just a couple giggles for your Friday afternoon pleasure:

I went to the hospital today for some pre-admission testing today. I found relatively convenient parking (I KNOW! Right?) and started walking into the building. I did a double take as I passed these signs:

Now perhaps I'm demonstrating my own less visible handicap, here, but doesn't it seem as though the handicapped entrance is right through that concrete? I pictures folks in wheelchairs backing up, speeding up, and disappearing straight through the barrier, like Harry Potter and his pals running through platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station to catch the Hogwarts Express.

Then there was this sign, passed on our way home from my parents' house last weekend:

I guess that might be convenient if you want to drop your animal off at the clinic while you have your back realigned and grab a quick tattoo. One stop shopping. For the animal loving tattoo enthusiast with poor posture.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Smoke 'Em If You've Got 'Em

This Thursday's Trip down Memory Lane is in honor of all of my friends who have been talking on their blogs and on Facebook about their children getting their driver's licenses. Also, it's SORT OF about birthdays. The big 1-6, to be exact. My birthday is Tuesday. I figure this is pretty close. I may do another birthday trip down Memory Lane next week. I'm one of those that doesn't reckon a birthday needs to really be confined to a single day...

Most kids approaching their sixteenth birthday are ready to drive. I was ready to be more independent. I was ready to be more mobile. But I was not ready to drive. My parents took the Driver’s Ed program at the school very seriously. Most kids took Driver’s Ed for the insurance break. I took it to learn to drive.

The first time I slid behind the wheel of a car, it was the Driver’s Ed car. The instructor handed me the keys and said, “Let’s see what you’ve got.” I asked him what exactly I was supposed to do with the keys. He rolled down the windows and lit a Camel.

After that, he always gave me the last turn at the wheel. He always rolled down the windows and lit a Camel as I approached the driver’s seat.

There were a total of three students in the car. The other two drove on the main drags, such as they were, of our town. My turn usually began when we were pretty close to the school parking lot. I won’t swear to it, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that despite his title, the Driver’s Ed instructor had never actually taught anyone to drive from scratch before.

A non-smoker myself with non-smoking parents, I was pretty sure he was going to have lung cancer before I had a driver’s license. I felt just a little bit guilty about that.

I pleaded with my parents to take me out to practice. I didn’t much like feeling like I was in remedial Driver’s Ed. Dad gave in once or twice, but he didn’t like it. He was probably afraid that if he rode with me too much HE’D need to take up smoking, too.

Eventually I got it, of course. I’d like to say it all just clicked, but it was a much more gradual process than that. I would still rather be in the passenger’s seat than the driver’s seat, given a choice. Not long after I got my license, a boyfriend said, “Wanna learn to drive a stick?”

I walked to the nearest convenience store and bought him a pack of Camels.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Forbidden Fruit

How trite it is, to say "forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest". But like most trite sayings, platitudes and cliches it became that way for a reason. There is a deep and inherent truth to it.

Sometimes there is a literal truth to it.

Several decades ago my handsome hubby went a little heavier on the peach schnapps than perhaps he ought to have. The inevitable result of that little overindulgence lead to an aversion to all things peach related that persists to this day. He doesn't even like the color peach, so acute and complete is his distaste.

This aversion has lead to a ban on peaches in our home. Of course the girls and I love peaches. Of course we do; they are forbidden fruit. So we sneak them when we can, eating them outside - which is just glorious, because we can let the juice drip straight off of our chins onto the ground, or at other people's houses, or positively gorging on them if he happens to not be home for a day or two during peach season. (This is not a good idea, by the way. I really do not recommend trying this. Really.)

Now I know there are two camps on liver and onions. I have never met a person who is neutral. Liver and onions has lovers and haters. I'm in the love camp. I know exactly why, too. My mom was in the love camp and my dad was in the hate camp. When I was growing up, once a year he would go out of town without us for a golf tournament. Mom went into serious decadence mode. And for Mom, the ultimate decadence was ice cream for breakfast and liver and onions for dinner. That is how it was presented to my sister and I. (She's firmly in the 'love' camp, too, in case there was any doubt.) Liver and onions was a treat of the same caliper as ice cream for breakfast.

So back to peaches - the liver and onions of my own adult household.

This weekend we were traveling to my parents house for just one day. It is about a four and a half hour drive. My daughter wanted a peach for the road. I told her she couldn't eat one in the car with her daddy, but that I was completely certain that my parents would have some for us when we got to their house.

Regular peaches and those awesome little three bite donut peaches - nom nom nom.

Of course they did. My mother yelled at my father for having them on the counter where Tom was in danger of actually seeing them. (My mother yells at my dad a lot. He's sort of immune to it. Maybe if he'd let her eat liver and onions more than once a year...) Tom assured them that the mere sight of a peach decades after the incident would not provoke a replay of the pie-eating contest in 'Stand by Me', but it didn't diminish the reprimands. (I did notice, however, that he didn't spend a lot of time in close proximity with that counter. Better safe than sorry.)

So I had a peach. Maybe two. My girls devoured - I'm not sure - more than a mere couple, I think.

Peaches sort of send me into Bubba Blue mode. (I originally wrote Bubba Gump because I couldn't remember Bubba's last name and had to look it up, but frankly I think Bubba Gump is more recognizable than Bubba Blue so I'm gonna leave it here for you. You're very welcome, don't mention it.) : I like peaches. I like peach pie and peach cobbler and peach preserves. I like peaches in my cereal and on my ice cream (whether it's for breakfast or dessert). I like peach smoothies and peach yogurt; peach tarts and peach danish. I would wear peach body lotion if it didn't attract bees and repel my husband.

If they were not forbidden, would I have the same response? (Maybe. I could write a similar ode to cherries and I'm allowed to have as many of those as I like.)

But back to peaches.

It's human nature to want what we can't have, isn't it? Which brings me to beer. Doesn't it always come back to beer, eventually?

Are these the best beers in the world? Why no, as a matter of fact, they are not. But neither are available where we live, so when we get the chance to have one, we savor it. And we anticipate it. It's like ice cream for breakfast. We seek it out and will inevitably choose it over other - inarguably better - options.

Because we can't get it all the time or even most of the time.

Nor can we get these:

A simple, humble snack cake? Or a rare and coveted butterscotch treat? Depends on where you live, I guess.

Depends on whether or not they're forbidden.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pave Paradise

I have mentioned my dislike of the suburbs before. I have resigned myself to a suburban existence, at least until the girls are done with school. Tom and I both fancy ourselves much more urban. We like the idea of having one car and a couple bicycles. We like the idea of walking to the grocery store, or any other store we need to visit. We like the idea of easy access to various cultural outlets. We like the idea of accessible public transportation.

We like sidewalks that lead places outside of the immediate neighborhood.

I like the idea of shopping in stores owned and operated by my neighbors rather than Target and Kohl's and the "W" word. I want to go to a bar where everybody knows my name. A bar I couldn't find an exact replica of in every shopping center.

I want to live in a condo that has enough room for everything we need, but not enough room to accumulate clutter. I do not have any desire to live in a McMansion. I do not want my kids to feel like they need to keep up with the kids in the McMansions. We don't want a yard to mow, maintain or landscape. We hate it and we're not good at it. Or vice versa. It works either way. I'll admit it. I think some weeds are pretty. Not a popular attitude in the 'burbs.

I don't want to wear the suburban mom uniform. I hate the suburban mom haircut. I don't do Tupperware parties or any of their modern equivalents (Ok, sometimes I do. Sue me and my damned hypocrisy.)

Yep, I hate almost everything about the suburbs.

I love almost everything about the city.

With one notable exception.

I love convenient, accessible, and usually free parking. I love having a two car garage and a driveway. I love parking within a reasonable proximity of my destination. I hate paying for parking. I hate driving in ever increasing concentric circles looking for a meter. I hate parallel parking. I hate trying to remember where I parked after visiting multiple bars running multiple errands.

I realize I said at the beginning of this rant that I wanted to walk. This may seem counter indicative. But it's one thing to walk back to one's home and quite another to walk back to one's car. I want to walk when I can, but drive when I need to. And when I need to, I want to be able to park in a convenient, free, well lit lot. Is that really asking so much?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mother Nature Can Be Like That

This Thursday's Trip down Memory Lane takes us back to one of my favorite eras. The era in which I rocked a bikini. Booya.

One summer, we planned to spend three weeks at the beach. I was very excited about this. This was gonna be my year. It was the first year I really filled out my bikini in any sort of respectable way, and my intent was to take full advantage of that.

The first week it was pretty rainy and overcast. Not perfect beach weather. No worries. It was the first week and we still had two more to go. We’d just do indoor things. Shopping, game rooms, movies. Restaurants. We generally spread these things out over the course of a vacation, but Mother Nature can be a little controlling like that.

Near the end of that first rainy week we went out for seafood. My parents aren’t particularly fond of seafood, but it’s my favorite, so they always took us out for some at least once when we were by the shore. The seafood, in other words, was a sort of rare treat. For me.

A few hours later I didn’t feel so well.

“You just ate too much.”

A few hours later still I had sweats and chills and unmentionable – indescribable things were going on in my belly. If I’d eaten too much that would no longer be a problem, as I was pretty sure there was nothing left in my stomach after a couple hours on the little camper porta-potty with a bucket between my knees.

My parents exchanged worried looks.

This was not a child who had over-indulged.

This was a child who needed to go to the ER.

I’m not sure what I looked like just then – I couldn’t lift my head from the bucket long enough to see myself in the mirror – but I could see what my parents looked like. And they didn’t look good.

I’m sure it will come as no great surprise to anyone that the diagnosis was food poisoning. Or that the prescription was hydration. And time.

Mother Nature can be a little nasty like that.

Week two of our beach vacation opened with bright sunshine. It found me too weak to squeeze toothpaste onto my toothbrush independently. My mother stayed with me that first day, while everyone else suited up and headed for the beach. The next day she was still willing to stay, but doing so was sort of tinged with martyrdom. The third day brought a little full-out resentment. The fourth, one of the other parents we were camping with offered to stay with me. She wanted to clean her camper anyway, so didn’t really want to go to the beach. It would be no trouble. Really.

I’m not sure, but I think my mom may have kissed her full on the lips. If she didn’t, I bet she wanted to.

The next day I made it to the beach. I was still a little weak, but no worries. We still had a few more days.

The very next day I got my period.

And my awesome new UNWORN bikini was white.

You have got to be kidding me with this.

Mother Nature can be a real bitch like that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Icons: Pat Benatar and Blondie

The local DJ introducing the show said, "Can you smell that smell in the air tonight? It smells like flowers and sweat. That's the smell of an estrogen heavy hard rock show, man! Breathe deep!"

We breathed deep.

Pat Benatar and Spyder Giraldo started playing together the year The Donnas were born. They haven't stopped since. Stepping once again into the shallow end of the pool (I always like it there. The water's warmer. You can say that's because the little kids pee there, but I won't hear you. LALALALALALALA!) Pat looks amazing. The years have been kind to her. Uber kind. Dude. I'm certain that there is a portrait of her somewhere that is aging normally. That's really the only explanation I can come up with.

She didn't hit all the high notes, but that was ok. Our minds filled in the blanks. She and her band knew what the crowd wanted and they delivered it. I felt like I was in college again.

That's a real, real good thing.

Blondie was up next. Debbie Harry took the stage like she owned it. Girlfriend is 64. I looked it up. Sixty-four and dancing, strutting, posing, and generally just rocking the house.

The stage set and the band took me back to 1982. Ms. Harry herself is timeless.

Their first callback song was a punkified cover of the ridiculously inane 'My Heart Will Go On". They made THAT cool. THAT, my fine friends, is no small feat.

THAT, my fine friends, is Blondie.

And THAT, my fine friends, concludes the week of a thousand bands. Or, you know, eight. To recap:

Joan Jett and the B-52's

The Donnas, Pat Benatar and Blondie

You can hold up your iPhones with their lighter applications as long as you want, but there won't be an encore from me anytime soon.

Unless, you know, an opportunity knocks and I score some tickets.

Will blog for tix.

(The more observant among you might notice that there are only two tix for The Donnas, Pat Benatar and Blondie. We didn't ditch the kids that night, but we did leave them in the cheap seats. My cousin got us two sweet seats, but couldn't manage five. When I visited with the girls after The Donnas' set, I said - "It was so cool! We could see the pink bass strings! We could see the little sparkle thingy on the singer's face!" They responded, "We could tell the singer had a head." Meh, they're young. Their opportunities for sweet seats will come...)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Warming Up (That's Hot)

The Donnas - every single Donna (none of whom are named Donna) were all born in 1979. I know this because Tom looked it up. Tom could tell you their whole history. I know, 'cause he told me. When the squealy fanboy bug bit him, it bit hard. My first reaction to hearing this was, "Holy crap! I'm old enough to have been their unwed teenaged mother!" (You know, because having a child at seventeen is feasible, but marrying the boy I was dating when I was seventeen? I shudder.) My second and more prevalent reaction was, "They're THIRTY?" Because from the sixth row not one of them looked old enough to drink a legal beer. Third thought? Thank God they're thirty, because the thought of Tom getting so hot and bothered over teenagers was a little unnerving.

How cool are her pink bass strings? How cool is it that we were close enough to see her pink bass strings?

Our introduction to The Donnas came when we watched the special features included on the Detroit Rock City DVD. If you're waiting for me to apologize for or justify liking Detroit Rock City, I sure hope you're comfortable, 'cause that's not going to happen any time soon. Anyway. Here was this cute, young, girl band in KISS face make-up singing 'Strutter', rocking hard, and clearly having a ball. Not one thing wrong with that.

When The Donnas took the stage (For a mere four songs. That's how it goes when you're the warm-up band for not one but two icons.) Tom was on his feet for the whole short set. Most folks were not. MOST folks had not even showed up yet. When the set was over, he was all smiles. "I KNOW she saw me, Tam. SHE saw me and APPRECIATED me."

"She liked you, stud. Ain't no doubt."

They would've been great opening for Joan Jett. But then Tom's head might have exploded.

Next up? Pat Benatar and Blondie. And I'm still in the sixth row, center. Yeah.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Birth of a Squealy Fanboy: Joan Jett and the B-52's

Midway through the Joan Jett concert Tom turned to me and said, "I get it now."

"Get what?"

"That full body visceral reaction you have when Steven Tyler makes that noise. I think Joan Jett is my Steven Tyler."

He said something like that, anyway. It was pretty loud.

My husband had just discovered his inner squealy fanboy.


But I got it, too. Joan Jett has replaced Dave Navarro as my favorite pocket rock star. How does so much sound come out of such a wee tiny thing? And how does a chick who represents as such a badass (one might even be tempted to say she had a bad reputation about which she didn't give a damn) present with such a contagious smile? Seriously, ya'll, her smile was brighter than the stage lights. When she went into her cover of the theme from the Mary Tyler Moore show (I KNOW! Right?) asking "Who can turn the world on with her smile?" I just wanted to say, "well it's you girl, and you should know it."

She rocks it as hard as she did when I was in college.

Also she's really hot. If you're into that sort of thing.

I think I'm gonna get a shag haircut.

I LOVE rock and roll!

so put another dime in the juke box, baby

so hurry up, and bring your juke box money

See how smoothly I segued between Joan Jett and the B-52's? My transition was considerably smoother than the actual one, which was sort of jarring. I like both bands, but I don't know whose idea it was to book them together.

It was not a great idea.

When we tried to decide who SHOULD'VE opened for the B-52's, though, we came up blank. They're sort of in a genre all their own. Lots of acts could've opened for Joan, though. Just sayin'.

Ack! Pictures were a lot more challenging after dark when flashes were prohibited!

The B-52's were just what I expected them to be. They bring the party, they do. They bring the retro, trippy, psychedelic party. They bring the strobe lights and the go-go dancing and the weirdly staccato vocal stylings for which they are known.

I was glad I got to go to the party.

Not everyone gets to hang out on Planet Claire. It's a groovy scene, for sure.

But it was a weird scene to enter from the back alley, where I'd just spent time hanging out with the bad kids in their black leather.

"Do you think she saw me, Tam?" Tom asked as we were walking out of the venue.


"Joan Jett. Do you think she saw me? I got my hands up really high..."

"I think she winked at you, hon. I was way jealous of your obvious connection."

I've been at this squealy fangirl thing a lot longer than he has. It's so easy to make us happy and hopeful. His giant goofy smile confirmed it.

One of us. One of us. One of us. One of us. One of us.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Randomness and a Winner

I heard you missed me, I'm back. I brought my pencil - er - netbook. Give me somethin' to write on...

I'm looking forward to visiting with everyone this week, which is really the only thing I'm looking forward to upon returning home. Away = Good; Home = Suck. But hey! Time for the interwebs! So it's not all bad.

First order of business - a winner of the pay it forward giveaway has been drawn. A couple days later than I promised, but I wanted to include pics of the drawing to keep it on the up and up and, as I mentioned, for some reason neither Tom nor I can figure out, I can't download pictures on the road, even though I have all the same equipment with me. He actually used that as a selling point when I was so bummed about coming home, "But when you get home, you can download your pics!" Always look on the bright side of life. (this is the part where I whistle...)

So without further ado:
We decided to do the drawing on the boardwalk in front of the casino, since a drawing is SORT of like a gamble, even though you don't really have anything to lose. Also because we were in Atlantic City so we could.

We put everyone's name on a slip of paper, but then couldn't decide what to draw it from. Pink was along for the ride, so we put her to use. Practical AND beautiful - is there anything that owl can't do? Lea is pretty cute, too.

A wider view of the boardwalk.

Turn around 180 degrees to this.

Pick a good one, Liv!

Savant is a wiener! (I always suspected as much) Congrats, Savant! I'll send you an email soon to clear up the deets.

And in birthday news, today is Tom's birthday. He got to spend it driving from Atlantic City to Uh-hi-uh. Try not to be jealous of his amazing good fortune. At this moment, we are sitting still in traffic somewhere in West Virginia. See? Everything about going home blows.

If you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, you'll find out firsthand what it's like to be me. (yeah, my angsty teen and tween are into My Chemical Romance. What can I say? It's a good lyric.) So I've written about weight and weight issues before (sigh). This weekend we went to Tom's HS reunion. I was nervous because I so hate the way I look and I didn't want it to reflect badly on him. I spent weeks trying to convince myself it didn't matter, but it always does. I can't tell you how many times I thought about bagging it. But go I did. I was so nervous. Meeting people has been scary for me ever since I gained the weight (before I put it on, meeting people was my favorite favorite). But I went and I quickly downed some liquid courage and before long it didn't matter if I was cute or not because I was having so much fun. Switched from vodka to rum and found myself doing the Time Warp (again). Next morning a lot of people had posted pics on Facebook and I was all, "Oh my SHIT I'm fat!" (Also - drunk doesn't look as good as it feels. Frack.) But you know what? The bottom line is that I DID have fun, a LOT of fun, actually, and if anyone judged me OR Tom because of it, I didn't know about it. (And I usually do know or at least suspect - there's a certain paranoia that comes along with hating how one looks.) Maybe I'm the one who needs to become less judgmental. If I'd let my insecurities keep me in I would've missed a really good time.

I just spent two weeks in Eastern PA and South Jersey and didn't even make an ATTEMPT to hook up with any of the people I TRULY MISS because I am so embarrassed about how I look. How freakin' dumb was that? Cut off my nose to spite my (ridiculously round) face.

Workin' on accepting who and what I am. Baby steps, baby steps.

Well, back to the grind. In as much as my life of leisure can be considered a grind. The laundry will wait, unpacking will wait, groceries will wait - I wanna see The Time Traveler's Wife. (Maybe that explains all the time jumps in this post. Am I home? Am I at the beach? Am I on the road in West Virginia? - yep, that's it. Time travel. I'm all of those places and more.) And download a bunch of pictures. I wonder why nothing ever gets done around here? Weird.