April 28, 2009

My Big Fat Fiesta Weekend

Well, we did it and we did it up right. We ate more Mexican food in three days than I have in several weeks – and I loves me some Tex-Mex, y’all, but DANG. On Sunday, M and I snuck in one last beany, cheesy lunch before I put her on the plane, and my teeth actually hurt from crunching so many chips. THAT much Mexican food.

We started at Chuy’s (natch) for lunch right after they landed on Thursday and then wrapped up that night at The Oasis. I haven’t been there since The Fire, and my stars, that place is huge now. The food still stinks (whatever, new “chef”), but the view is still worth the drive – even though the lake is SO low. We saw lots of little sandbars that are normally underwater, and I thought, who KNOWS what kind of stuff surfaces out there when the levels are down like that. Especially considering we were a stone’s throw from Hippie Hollow (NSFW, that one). Eww.

Friday, we stopped by to wish Opie a Happy 2nd Birthday and to rub my SIL’s belly for luck. We followed up with lunch with one of our old crew (always good for a laugh) before a drive around town, the Memory Lane Tour, if you will. We cruised the old neighborhood, the old schools, the old haunts, and recalled the old characters we used to know. It was fun, if not a little sad, and at times, it felt like we had just been there. Weird. We took a few minutes to decompress and then girded our loins for the evening’s trip to NIOSA.

Having M and T here reminded me of two things: how much fun we have together and how much I heart Sand and Stonio. The city is so beautiful and the people are so friendly – granted, most of them were about half in the bag the entire week, which may have affected the vibe a wee bit. But with as many people as there were crammed into downtown, and with as much cerveza as there was a-flowin’, it’s pretty amazing that we didn’t see any fisticuffs or other nefarious activity. We did see one pretty gnarly lovers’ quarrel going on right next to one of the 8 billion Roasted Corn booths at NIOSA, and M alerted the rent-a-deputy standing nearby because we really weren’t sure which one of them was going to start swinging first. We also nearly lost our lunches (and our lives) in a human traffic jam somewhere between the Anticuchos and the Churros – it was like, out of nowhere, everybody in La Villita decided to hit this particular intersection at the exact same time, and we literally could not move. And how lucky that we were nose to nose and privates to privates with half the city right in the middle of the Swine Flu outbreak. We left soon after.

Saturday, we spent the day at the King William Fair, which I haven’t been to in a month of Sundays. It’s like a daytime NIOSA, but with dogs and crafts. And every fabulous guy in town. It’s awesome. That neighborhood reminds me a lot of the Garden District in New Orleans, so I just walked around pointing at houses, “I want that. I want that. I want that, too.” Even among the throngs, we ran into one of my best friends from high school, so it really felt like old home week.

After a spin through El Mercado (You can all relax. I finally found that plastic papel picado I’ve been looking for. The one with the horse!), we hit the legendary La Fogata to celebrate T’s birthday (she’s 29 – again. And again. Plus 10.). Mama and Papa Turista joined us, and I swear, those two had more fun than anybody, just hanging out and catching up with their prodigal daughters. Plus, they really are a comedy show themselves, what with Papa and his food issues (I have never seen ANYone have so much trouble at a restaurant. He’s so predictable, I could make big money betting that something will be “wrong” with his food. EVERY time.) and Mama and her patience of Job. We shoveled in some chocolate cake back at la casa and called it a night after that. Come Sunday morning, it was time to face facts and pack up for home.

Olive has been singing that “Make new friends, but keep the old …” song at school, and it is so fitting for M and T. We live states apart, and only see each other every few years, but we can pick up right where we left off and laugh and laugh until the cows come home. When I woke up Monday morning, I really missed them not being here, and I’m already looking forward to our next adventure. Because while I do love silver, these two are my gold.

April 22, 2009

They're At It Again

Tomorrow, M and T, of Vegas fame, are coming to town for the weekend. We haven’t seen each other since that fateful trip, but we keep in regular(?) contact via email. In the interim, T had a baby, M started a catering business, I went back to work, and we’ve all turned 40, so we’ve got a lot of kvetching to do.

We’re headed to SA on Friday for Fiesta, and we’re staying at Casa Turista. Mis padres couldn’t be more excited - two of their “own,” returning to the nest. Now the last time we all did Fiesta together, it was 19-8-frickin’-4(!), and I seem to remember that one night, after several contraband wine coolers at NIOSA, one of us flashed passersby from the car as we were driving home. I believe one of us was still sporting a sweet rattail at the time, and one of us was marching in a parade. I'll leave it for y'all to sort through that.

Can't wait to see how it all shakes out. Viva Helio Vasquez!

April 21, 2009

Love Your Mother

In honor of Earth Day, an original poem by Peach, age 9.


The trees are magic
They can change colors.
Gray in winter winds,
Brown in summer sun,
Red in autumn fun.

The birds are magic.
They sing sweetly, shrilly,
Angrily, tenderly, sadly.
Clouds are magic.
They can be circles,
Wisps, or large masses.

The sea is magic.
It will crinkle, wrinkle,
Bump and rage.
And now, yes now, I shall
Reveal the point of this poem:
Mother Nature is magic -
Keep her alive.

What she said.

April 20, 2009

Weekend Re-Cap

Peach had a change of heart about the big musical audition – and I can’t say I blame her. I HATE musical auditions. Really, auditions in general are worse than job interviews, even though that’s kind of what they are. There’s a lot of secret science to it, most of which is totally beyond your control, and you are fully aware of that every time. So why in the hell do we do it? “They” know within about 10 seconds if they’re even going to pretend to listen to you for the next two minutes, let alone give you a part in their precious production. It’s very adversarial if you ask me. And at no time has anyone ever in the history of the theatre been as afraid about a performance as they have about an audition. Okay, maybe if they were about to be thrown to the lions as part of the “show.” But otherwise, never. Anyway, if she had gone through with it and gotten a part, we would have spent the majority of our summer living The Music Man everyday, so it’s probably for the best.

Seeing as we had more free time on Saturday than I had planned on, we had a craft extravaganza – lots of painting and drawing and gluing – while I dismantled the Easter decorations. GGMS’s annual spring campout was this weekend, but after the rain we’ve had, we decided against going out there and setting up our tent in the knee-high mud. I’m a sport and all, but gimme a break. Plus, I had plenty to do in preparation for a very special event later this week, which I will save for another post.

We spent yesterday celebrating the Television Twins’ First Communion. When we got to the house, they ran out to greet us in their fancy duds. I asked the first twin (the sensitive sugar bear), “Were y’all waiting for us to see your suits before you changed?” And he said, “Oh, no. I don't mind.” (even though you could tell he did) While the second twin (the all-boy whirling dervish) answered with an emphatic, “Yes! Now we can get out of these clothes!” And they had the coolest little ties I’ve ever seen – instead of the old clip-on, they have a zipper hidden in the knot, so you just put it on and zip it up – perfect knot every time. How awesome is that? I played with one all afternoon. The end.

April 17, 2009

The Old Man is Snoring

And I ain’t just talking about the raining and the pouring that we’re finally getting today.

T-Bone, God love him, snores. Not like a rattle-the-house snore, just your typical sawing logs snore. If you happen to be using a chainsaw on said logs. Usually it happens when he’s sleeping on his back, so if it wakes me up, I just tell him to roll over on his side, he does, and it stops. Usually. Last night, however, it woke me up, I told him to roll over, he did, and it didn’t stop. So then I told him to roll over again, he did, and it still didn’t stop. I didn’t want to totally wake him up with all the orders and the nudging (okay, pushing), but after 15 minutes or so, I was wide awake. At 3:15.

So, I got up to get a drink, went to the bathroom, walked around a minute, and even thought about reading, but then thought better about that, what with the bright light it would require, thus guaranteeing I would never go back to sleep. And I LOVE to sleep, y’all. I could drop down and give you 20 Zs at just about any moment of the day. Not that I’m a walking zombie, perpetually exhausted. It’s just that if I quiet myself for a few minutes, I can drift off like nobody’s business.

Some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten was in the library during law school (probably in a few contracts classes, too, for that matter). I could put my head down for just 15 minutes and feel like a million bucks after that. Also, when T-Bone and I were in summer school in Austria, I could hop on a train and be out in matter of seconds. Even on trains full of drunkass soccer fans on their way to Munich. The sleeping was that good.

I used to sleep so soundly that one time, my mom locked herself out of the house, and she banged on the window right next to the couch where I was sleeping, and I never heard a thing. Not even when she had the neighbor break the window so she could get in and retrieve my crying toddler brother, which also did not wake me up. I used to fall asleep walking upstairs, sitting upright at the dinner table, and once, even at a horse auction. I just bent over in my chair, put my head in my lap, and zonked out, right in the middle of the ring. All of which probably explains why I’m such a GD giant - the good sleeping - because did you know that you grow during REM sleep? I didn’t either until a friend of mine had her son’s tonsils taken out when he was three because his snoring and sleep apnea was so bad, and that little dude shot up over four inches in a matter of two months. The doctor said it was because he was finally getting good, uninterrupted REM sleep. That Michael Stipe is a damn genius.

I ended up bedding down on the couch, listening to the beginnings of a lovely, much-needed, rain. Which, as you know, is great sleeping weather. If only it hadn't been 5:30, and I didn't have to get up at 6:15.

April 14, 2009

Everything Has Its Season*

And so it begins. Peach is auditioning for her first musical this weekend. Oh. My. Stars.

Truth be told, I brought it up to her because she happens to love the show, knows all the songs, and has been itching to test her vocal prowess for some time now. That said, she ain’t no Broadway Baby – thank Jeebus – and would thoroughly enjoy being one of the many nameless townspeople who sweep on and off the stage throughout the show. She understands that not everyone gets a part and that the audition itself is a great learning experience, yada yada yada. But of course, the drama geek in ME hopes she totally kicks the asses of all those nose-singing, jazz hands-flashing, over-emoting junior “triple threats” that will undoubtedly be there. So we’ll see how it all shakes out.

We had a great Easter, starting Friday with a two-hour walk around the lake, picnic, and snowcone (rainbow, natch). Saturday, my parents came, and we dyed eggs, hunted eggs, and ate eggs. Repeat. Sunday, after cooing over The Baskets, we beat the rain to Mass and then beat the crowd to Threadgill’s for brunch. Later, T-Bone and I spent five hours staring at the garage ceiling as we installed some storage shelves above the garage door. Holy hell, my neck still hurts – but my garage? She is beautiful! One more Hyloft, and she’ll be as fine-tuned as possible. Assuming, of course, we’ve installed them right, and I don’t come home to find that the weight of my BigAss Christmas tree up there has caused the ceiling to cave in. Fingers crossed.

* Pretend I found a clip of the brilliant bit about Corner of the Sky (Most. Annoying. Audition. Song. EVAH.) that Judy Gold used to do back in the day. Then pretend I embedded it here.

April 10, 2009

Easy Peasy

Peach and Olive are so easy to please. Take last night, for instance, when Peach came bounding into my bedroom:

P: Mommy, can I have a privilege? Can I pleeeeease have a privilege?
LT: What do you mean by "privilege?"
P: Well, at school when we do something like help a friend or do a great work, we get a privilege like eating lunch outside or being first in line for the library.
LT: Yes, that's right. But I mean what are you asking me for, specifically?
P: (wringing her hands) Can I please wear one of your t-shirts to bed? And Olive, too?

That's it. That's all she wanted. They think it's so crazeee that I wear t-shirts and pj pants to bed, they want to do it, too. When I said yes, you would have thought I told her we were moving to Mouseworld. She covered me with kisses and took off, shouting, "Olive! She said yes! She said we could do it!" And from somewhere upstairs, I heard a faint "Woo hoo!"

I'm pretty easy to please, too. Like, I could just watch this clip a jillion times and be happy as a clam.

Happy Easter, y'all.

April 6, 2009

Just Like Starting Over

Everyday, I walk into The Job and say, “Good morning. How are you?” to the same 8-10 people, and they say, “Fine! How are you?” And that’s as far as it goes. Every. GD. day. Going on seven months now.

Not that I’m all that interested in the intimate details of their lives. Truly, other than the fact that we work together and we’re human beings, I have nothing in common with those people. And I’d really rather NOT know everything about them. But it might be nice if we could get beyond the weather and the traffic and some version of “TGIF!” or “I hate Mondays, don’t you?” I get enough of that shit from stupid morning radio.

Here’s the thing though: they don’t get me. And they never will. I’m totally on my own. I’ve tried to find some common ground, but really, it’s futile. I’m the youngest woman in the office, by at least 10 years, and of the four attorneys, I’m the only girl, the only one who’s married, AND the only one who has children. Our frames of reference for, say, pop culture are so far and away different, it’s like we’re speaking different languages. Politics? Religion? Out the window. And don’t even get me started on the food thing again. I'm a freak of nature to them. So any of those things you usually gab about with your co-workers? Even the bitching-about-work-stuff? They don’t fly because we don’t really do the same things, and in fact, sometimes, their bitching could rightly be about stuff they have to do for me.

Here's a quick example: I have this quote as my screen saver - “I believe virtually everything I read. – David St. Hubbins.” One of the gals came into my office one day and saw it and said, “Oh, I’ve never heard that before. Is he an attorney?” Painful as it was, I said, “No. It’s from Spinal Tap.” And she said, “Yeah, I’ve never read that.” You see my problem.

And so, when I leave at the end of the day, I’ll say “Goodnight.” And they’ll say, “Have a good evening.” And I'll say, "You too." And none of us will mean any of it. And we’ll start all over again tomorrow. Yay.