Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why I Wasn't at My 20th High School Reunion

Dear 1988,

I'm sorry I missed you last Friday. I'd like to say it couldn't be avoided--that I live too far away or I had a previous commitment or I'm buried in work or that I'm too cheap to book a flight back to my hometown. But those wouldn't be the truth (although the third is nearly literal and the fourth is a close approximation, except for those burgeoning frequent flier miles I have).

The simple fact is this: you scare me. And I really never had any intention of seeing you again.

In 1988, I was a firm believer in Ayn Rand, I was going to be a physics major at UT, and in a few short months, I'd volunteer to help the Young Republicans elect George Bush. (A cute boy was involved. I got short-term rewards.) Within that year, I'd be pretty severely slapped in the ass by my own naivety--and the boy I would eventually marry.

I've often thought ala Richard Bach (at least my reading taste has improved) what it would be like to see you again. If I--the late30something writer, mother, sloppy boobed wife with the especially glorious grey blaze--happened across that young perky breasted, slender-thighed thing who thought she'd never get married, never have children (much less gain 70 preggie pounds, breast feed, and make the choice to quit corporate), never do something so seemingly inconsequential and self-indulgent as "to write," and never leave home without a spare tube of liquid eye liner and an extra large can of Aqua Net stashed in her purse.

(I wonder which Song of the 80s would provide the lyrical drama to our scifi rendez-vous? Please, please not Mr. Mister's "Kyrie Eleison." Can we both agree to that? I thought we could. We haven't grown that far apart.)

My god, girl, what would you think of me? I go to the grocery store without make up. I don't own a bottle of Clearsil anymore. I don't dye my hair. (Often.) I don't tan or watch soap operas. I've been seen listening to select country music. And liking it. I share. My chocolates. Like, with other people.

And what would I say to you? Have kids early and often? Pick doctors based on their actual qualifications not on their likeness to Magnum PI? Maybe learn a little self discipline around the bread basket at Olive Garden? Get a tattoo? Wear bikinis?

To look at you would collapse time in a way that I'm just not ready for right now. It would make me reevaluate every decision I've made in the past 20 years and wonder about paths I didn't take--and if I should have. It would shore up the obvious fact that I plan to avoid for a few more years: that I'm comfortably nearly 40 years old and how you panicked when you turned just 25.

And ultimately, it would let me steep in the past when I desperately need to enjoy where I am.

Oh, right, I suppose I pretty much just did that. Oh well. So much for avoiding the personal demons.

I guess I should've posted this earlier and booked my flight to join the raging drunks that are the Class of 1988.

Maybe that's something 40something beam over and tell me.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Just in Case You Were Wondering (or You've Been Revealed!)

So. I just took a peeksie at my analytics, the data about my Web site--who visits, how they get here, where they're from, how quickly they flee to some other site--and I thought it might be interesting to share with you a sampling o' keywords that have actually led the people to my blog.

Just as a Thursday afternoon treat.

(Except for the fact that it's Wednesday.)

  • "his bra"--in quotes
  • buttpenis--all one word
  • cheesy way to say i love you--and why was this person looking for the cheesy ways, not, say, the sincere ways. That will forever be a mystery. (Or will it, dear reader?)
  • fat stick figure
  • i threw out my shoulder--ah, I remember that. First day with the Wii. Good times. I wonder if they found what they needed in my post?
  • i threw out my shoulders
  • kc chiefs t-shirt from urban outfitters
  • mammograph photo boob
  • take off his bra--which makes me wonder why he had one on. And why it was so tricky to remove it that he had to google a solution
  • tori spelling cleavage 2004--a mediocre year for the Ms. Spelling, methinks
  • where to buy heirloom tomatoes in kansas city

And the post popular--any variation on Auden's poem, "Funeral Blues," the results of which I'm sure did help them score mightily on their critical analysis paper.

But apparently, I will be blogging about that more often . . .

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Heart MarioKart (and Parentheticals)

A couple of months ago--whenever it was that it came out in that blur of house fixing, cleaning, packing, staging, selling, packing again, and moving--we bought MarioKart, the Wii's racing game. It comes with a wheel--authentic gaming experience!--and the game itself offers a mess load of fun race tracks.

Now, I must insert here, before I go much further in my story, that I notoriously suck at any kind of "wheeled" game. Go carts? Won't touch them. Bumper cars? Always the bumpee, never the bumper. Computerized racing games? See that moron crashing into the wall and now driving the wrong way and now crashing into a wall again. Yes, it is I.

And I won't say, as you're probably expecting, that MarioKart is different, easy, a revelation in my virtual driving experience.

It's not. I still suck. But now I get to crash into cows and goompas as well as walls. And I can sabotage my fellow drivers and even the odds just a little bit with flying turtle shells and banana peels.

(Thanks to the Wiis connection to the Internets, you can also play MK against your friends and other relatively anonymous competitors worldwide. Which is to say, I'm easy pickins, my people. Easy win.)

Back in our younger college days, when we'd move Every Single Year, the stereo was the first thing to unpack. We'd set up the receiver, turntable, CD changer, and speakers, and soundtrack the entire move and unpacking process with the lilting notes of the Pixes or Sonic Youth.

Now, our life is about diversions, not ambiance, and the first thing we unpacked was the Wii. And we've been playing MarioKart every night (and a few moments inbetween) since we moved in.

Finn loves it. And I love Finn for loving it. One, because he's such a trooper about trying a game that really exceeds his level of expertise. (Really.) And two, because I can beat him, a simple fact about which I harbor no guilt or sentimentality.

Take that turtle shell, my precious spawn. Mama's gonna place tonight!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Rockets--Did You Know They Glare? Menacingly?

When I grew up, the Fourth of July meant slurping homemade peach ice cream and hanging out at the neighbors' pool until one of them got too drunk and threatened to throw my mom into the deep end, which was our signal to pack it up and head home. (When I think back, I seem to also remember a bowl of keys? I wonder . . . )

Of particular note: no sparklers, no flaming pagodas, no conical sprays of fire, no bottle rockets, black cats, snap pops. No real presence of pyrotechnics, big or small. I think I can count the number of fireworks shows I saw growing up, on one hand, with fingers missing. And most accompanied with screaming. But who could hear over those deafening explosions?

This Fourth of July was a departure from what Carrie and Ricky call my decidedly unAmerican childhood. I don't know what our city ordinances are, so let's just say that I spent a lot of time hiding behind the children. And giggling.

Friday, July 04, 2008

If I Knew You Were Comin', I'duv Baked a Cake, Pet a Snake, Built a Lake

We moved. Ergo, the silent treatment and mysterious blogposts.

We've spent the past two week or so frantically packing, frantically panicking, and relocating all our crap (oh my, we have so much STUFF) to Kansas.

Yes, we crossed the stateline, abandoned Missouri to all those who are much more enthusiastic about than we could ever be, and booked it to Dorothyland.

And we love it. Love it. Love, love, love it. (So far. I don't want to get to ahead of myself.)

I have a whole elaborate and karmic moving story to share with you in a later post, but right now, light me just share this moment of Kansas-flavored zen.

Right now, this very moment (or a few moments or days or perhaps even weeks or months ago depending on when you finally revisit my long dormant blog--sorry) I'm baking a cake.

Yes. Baking. Me.

Sum total this past year, I've baked a few dozen cookies. And this cake. "Baker" is not my middle name. Or one that even travels in the same sentence, much less discussion.

And yet . . . I bake. A beautiful and "elaborate" (remember, low tolerance) strawberry shortcake recipe that I stole from Nigella Lawson. (I'm also wearing a skirt. And heels. No pearls.) And as I'm slowly folding in my dry ingredients into my frothy buttery-eggy-yumfest, Yaz's "Only You" comes on.

Sing along . . .

All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed was another day
And all I ever knew
Only you

How beautiful shines 30something domesticity.