July 30, 2012

the old days, as compared to days I just feel old

This weekend I ventured to the great state of Texas to watch one of my favorites marry one of her favorites. I love doing that. And I loved everything about the time I got to spend with the people I love so very dearly, who know me so well. It's such a gift, to be with them, to be known and to be loved and to step right back into my place with each of them effortlessly. So much is different and so little has changed, all at once.

It was just like old times, pretty much. Only there is one thing that is not like old times at all, and that, my dear old friends, is the bounce back. Before, "recovery" looked like a few hours laying in bed watching The OC, a couple of breakfast tacos and a giant Diet Coke, and I was good as new. Tonight [having partaken in both breakfast tacos and Diet Coke and several hours of TV on DVD], a full 2 days past the big event, I put my sunglasses on in the dark of night when I rolled up to a particularly bright stoplight. I won't even tell you how long it took me to figure out why I couldn't see very well.

But if you want to know the truth, I'd do it again. I'd stay up late getting noise violations from hotel staff like it's Sigma Beach 2006. I'd tell one more story about college Kristin, I'd have one more "no I love YOU more" chat in the bathroom, I'd ask Bobby to punch the top of one more Miller Lite. I'd even stay up another hour listening to boys try to convince people they're sober enough to drive to Whataburger and another half hour after that laughing at them as they conspired to steal the hotel golf cart when all else failed. I'd do it. Because it was delightful. And I may be just a shell of my former self today, but I'll be fine in another day or so and all that will matter then is that for one hot minute we were together and it was the same. And I have the Instagrams to prove it.

So since I'm really into making toasts nowadays, here's to the good old days I wouldn't change even on days I feel old, to my sweet pals, to beautiful Sandy and the unicorn with whom she is en route to Hawaii with as we speak, to laughing again about the accidental B&E, and to bouncing back. However long it may take.

And now, to quote Kristen Wiig via Kristin Anne Foster: 

July 27, 2012

unconventional sentiments

Today is my mom's birthday. And if you've ever for one second wondered "where I get it," or how I've come to be how and who I am - and I'm sure you have at least once - well, she is the answer to that question. See? 

Recently I was having a conversation with my family about families. I don't really remember what we said to prompt this discussion, but I do remember clearly when my mom said to us, in all complete sincere seriousness, "Really think about it though. Wouldn't you be sad if you'd had to grow up in a family where no one ever called you an idiot?"

You know what the sick thing is?
I think I genuinely would.

Even though we look good doing it, sometimes our little family can be a real hot mess. [I can say that because I'm part of it.] But we work. We make it. We're pretty great a lot of the time actually, and we're real fun, nobody would tell you otherwise. We keep us on our toes, that's for certain. And even though our terms of endearment are slightly less... conventional, if you will, at the end of the day we know that idiot is practically a pet name. I don't even like you is an affirmation of love. Miming the motion of a quick punch [one of Mom's trademark moves when I do or say something especially idiotic, and to be fair usually I'm making fun of her in some way/shape/form] gives me the same fuzzy feeling as a nice long hug. Don't worry though, you sensitive little souls, we do the other stuff too, the conventional love stuff. It's just not as funny to write about.

So here's to Mommie dearest, my mom, on this, the day of your birth. For always knowing the answers, for teaching me all of my not at all embarrassing dance moves, for passing on a healthy love for karaoke [and the spotlight in general, let's be honest], for always putting up with me when I was [past tense, obviously] awful, for being my perpetual audience, for being so kind as to provide me with just enough dysfunction to make me funny, and for teaching me everything I know, essentially. For all these things and so many more, I say here's to you.

The glue that holds us together even on days when we're not feeling particularly sticky. 
The constant answer to the ongoing question of why, when it comes to me anyway.
My funny, fashionable, groovy Mom.

Oh, and since I'm not there with you this weekend - and I know I've earned at least one mimed punch for this post - you'll have to give it to one of the other idiots in lieu of me. Sorry I'm not sorry, you guys.

July 19, 2012


I feel like Tuesdays are usually not great days. I don't know what it is, but mine tend to have people in them who like to yell. At me, mostly. Or extended trips to unpleasant places for work, like the county jail or the social security office. But it's not just Tuesdays. Sometimes it's Mondays. Or Fridays even, heaven forbid, that are unpleasant or yucky in some way. I don't love it when that happens. Call me crazy, but I am the kind of person who likes to have good days. The kinds where people don't yell at me and stuff.

There are a couple of things - tricks of the trade, if you will, if the trade is having bad days I guess - that can help on these days. I like to call these things game-changers. Often when I am having a bad day and something delightful happens, I will exclaim the word triumphantly [likely out loud and probably in public because talking to myself is apparently a thing I do now] as if to solidify that the game has, in fact, been changed. I'd say most of the time these things are out of my control, unexpected, like a surprise. But there are a few things that, if I am having a crap day, I know are within my power to call into the game.

Those things are, to list a few:
A diet root beer. Preferably in a bottle. Works every time.
Any kind of appointment involving my hair/nails.
Zumba, which for me falls on Tuesday, which is lucky because Tuesday is the pits.

The best kind of game-changer, though, is the kind you're not expecting. The kind where the day just kind of sucks and then something great happens out of the blue and, yknow, changes the game and stuff.

Realizing I parked in a 2 hour parking spot 4 hours after I parked there and not getting a ticket about it.
A really good parking spot at work. Parking in general tends to ruin my life, if you couldn't tell.
Getting to the left turn at Colfax & Colorado right when the arrow turns green.
Someone Instagramming a picture of me where I look really great.
Getting something really good in the mail, like a book I forgot I ordered on Amazon, a $5 bill from Gram, or a photograph of a young Art Bamford.
Good news, in general, tends to fall into this category.
Finding out my client's attorney is as attractive in person as he sounds on the phone.
Any kind of compliment where the gist is that I look really great.

One particular scenario stands out in my mind as the mother of all game-changers, and that is the tale of the time the firemen came to my rescue. Now gather round, and I will tell you of this magical day:

One morning not long ago, I was in a hurry. I got to work a few minutes later than I should have, I was rushed and hustling to get inside to deal with my day. The parking lot at my old office [we moved last week], you should know, was a complete disaster - and on this particular day I parked on the outskirts. Which means my car was blocking about 6 other cars in. Which means I would probably have to move my car in roughly 8.5 minutes when someone needed out. Business as usual, really. My hands were full of junk, so I locked my car from the inside, shut the door, and turned to walk into the building, only to be filled immediately with a sense of dreadful dread: I had locked my keys in my car.

I had to be in a meeting in 18 minutes. I was blocking enough people in that the chances were pretty good I'd need to move my car in the very near future in order to let someone out to do their job. I didn't even have the option to get my spare key from my house because my house key was, yknow, locked in my car. I ran inside and started frantically asking a bunch of problem-solving case managers what I should do. It was suggested to me that I walk over to the fire station, "bat my eyes a little" and see if they wouldn't help me. Having been waiting the entire year of my employment for an excuse to go to the fire station, which just so happened to be across the street, my stomach did a little somersault and I decided it was now or never. Out of time and options, I would have to go to the firemen for help.

So, I did. A nice looking gentleman standing outside told me to go wait by my car and they would be right over. And sure enough, moments later, over the horizon, like a beacon in the night - came not one, not two, not three, but FOUR firemen. Wielding all the necessary implements to avert my crisis. Four strapping young men coming to my rescue. Not usually one to play the damsel in distress card, in that moment as they approached, I decided to forget all about what I usually do, and I played it like. a. boss.

And as they approached - and my female coworkers, as though sensing the firemen's proximity to them, gathered to watch from the window - the panic and dismay I had been feeling was seamlessly replaced by peace and joy, and I exclaimed softly, triumphantly: game-changer!

No I didn't. I was way too busy swooning and batting my lashes and wishing I'd worn something cuter that day to say any actual words, thank goodness. But it would be a way better way to end this story if I had, right? Maybe next time. I do so wholeheartedly pray there is a next time.

July 8, 2012

fireworks keep falling on my head

[After a lovely, relaxing, sun-filled five days at the lake, I am showered, wearing legitimate clothing, and heading home. I can tell I've had enough lake time for now because the Kansas City airport is rocking a little and I'm pretty sure that's not real. Anyway I sat down after being harassed at airport security about the threatening electric toothbrush I was packing [see what I did there?] and realized it's been kind of a long while since I actually wrote anything. My b. I promise I'll post something new and exciting this week - it's just that with all the jet-setting, Red Rocks attending and Bachelorette watching, I suppose I've just been far too busy being glamorous to blog.

But here's a little something - revised for your enjoyment from July 4, 2011]

I love fireworks. The fourth of July is far from my favorite holiday [though it is the birthday of my sweet Nana B, and that I love], but a good fireworks show is easily one of my favorite things. I don't honestly have an explanation for why I love them so much, why there is so much nostalgia attached to these particular crackles of colored light. It's just one of those things, I guess. It just is.

I am something of a fireworks snob, admittedly, as I grew up watching fireworks the only way I think fireworks should ever be watched - from right smack in the middle of a lake. While I can appreciate a good show on dry land, it's nothing compared to the combined sensory experience of the boat rocking gently back and forth, water lapping against the sides, the Apollo 13 soundtrack playing on the stereo [trust me on that one], and the occasional obnoxious yet somehow endearing cheers of lake people. I remember I used to feel like it was a secret we had, like something not everyone could possibly know. I've watched fireworks from rooftop patios with perfect views, sitting on the tops of cars, with people I love. But every time, no matter how good, I can't help but think that when fireworks are done right, as you lie in the dark stillness, you should be just a little worried about debris hitting you in the face. That's how you can tell you're close enough; when fireworks keep falling on your head.

I remember sitting with my little nieces and nephews in my lap as they marveled at the "firecracks." Each time, I found myself wiping tears from my eyes as wonder explodes from their little mouths - because I can remember just as vividly watching the fireworks when I was that little, my mouth gaping in equal parts excitement and terror, mesmerized by the colors taking shape above me. Something about fireworks, to this day, makes me feel dreamy. I remember watching, thinking about what my life might be like, someday. I remember being a boy-crazy teenager and thinking about the romance that was sure to come, of the hands I would someday hold under that same glittery sky. I remember distinctly feeling inexplicable peace as I watched the firecracks, surrounded comfortably by my people, imagining how I would bring my someday people there, someday - how I would let them in on the secret, and take them to the place where the fireworks fall on your face.

And now here we are: someday is here with still more someday to come. Fireworks create a rare space in time where I can love and live the present and feel hope and excitement for someday all at once. Even still, after years and years of hearing the same noises and watching the same finales, I watch [my mouth gaping] in equal parts wonder at the loveliness of today and dreamy dreams of romance & somedays to come.

And also an ever-so-slight underlying fear that a firework might hit me in the face.