Also? Arizona is HOT

Traveling for work always sounds a bit more glamorous than it truly is. This is the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope). Because it is the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope), I am able to ignore the shoe talk, the brand namedropping, the comments about someone’s husband being too good-looking for her... I don’t care that my hard work isn’t being acknowledged, that I am reduced to being a note-taker and snack-coordinator most of the time, that the Events Planner I’m supposed to be helping is once again playing the martyr. And this not-worrying thing? Is liberating.

I’m in Scottsdale (near Phoenix) at a gigantic resort (so gigantic, in fact, that I’ve gotten lost on the property about three times now- very professional, Q!). Yesterday morning I exited the hotel around 6 o’clock and began to walk/jog a path parallel to the mountains. I passed a lizard as big as a kitten, and several well-fed rabbits that weren’t very scared of my presence (or of the huffing and puffing). It was full sun at 6 in the morning, the breeze was crisp, the temperature was mild, and I realized a few things: 1) 6 a.m. is always too early to be awake no matter which time zone you’re in 2) boy do I hate running and 3) the itch to change my scenery has come back with a vengeance.

I ran on, passing the occasional retiree with his dog (random thought 1: I could run with Boomba every morning like this, the other dogs too, and huh, isn’t this kind of what I imagined living in New Mexico would be like?) (random thought 2: an imagined life is ALWAYS far different from the reality, isn't it?), keeping my gaze on the mountains to my left (random thought 3: boy do I miss walking out the door and seeing the foothills), thinking of the missed sunrise that morning (random thought 4: nothing compares to a Southwest sunrise/sunset), and reveling in how un-humid, un-heavy, un-TEXAS my existence felt at the moment. I remembered waking up on Sunday mornings and gearing up to hike the foothills. I recalled the 5 minute motorcycle commute to the office. I took a deep breath and grew nostalgic for the fresh mountain air we spent a year and a half taking for granted. The brown backdrop, the cacti, the sunshine… I indulged in the fantasy, as I pretended to be a Serious Jogger, of packing up our things and driving into the desert sunset to live happily ever after in Phoenix, Arizona.

But then I remembered DYING to be near a body of water when we lived in New Mexico, and how the Gulf is currently just a few hours’ drive from Dallas. I thought of the friends I’ve finally acquired, 9 years and three major moves out of college. And I realized how much I love the weight of a humid Texas morning, especially in the summer, when the air is heavy with the smell of grass and bugs and summer camp. It feels solid, substantial, the way Home should feel, I think.

I arrived back at the hotel sweaty, winded and proud of myself for the effort. Felt a little homesick, felt a little wistful for the move we won’t be making. Sure, the itch may be scratched... eventually, but meanwhile I’m content with the rose-colored Someday daydream of making another unknown city Home. For now, I’m quite happy to be heading back to the one we already have.

Tomorrow will be the last day of the last national meeting I will have to attend (I hope). Someone pop the damn champagne already.


Fitting in the Fun (and run-on sentences)

Late Friday afternoon I drove into the “city” to meet Monk for drinks at a fairly happening place near his office. We sat out back and enjoyed the semi-sunny, mild weather, caught a buzz and waited for PhotoGirl and her ol’ ball and chain to arrive for dinner. Monk and I have been catching up with each other maybe once a week these days (which admittedly is a bit strange when you’re married and inhabiting the same house) and it had been months (months?! Is that right?!) since we’d hung out with PhotoGirl and Co., so the laidback afternoon/evening outing was just a fantastic way to start the weekend.

(I could have done without the table next to us blowing smoke directly on our heads, or the somewhat slow and inattentive service, but I'm sure everyone else could have done without my half-assed attempt at dressing myself and my less-than-sophisticated Scotch-tasting feedback: "It tastes like deodorant. And bandaids." So, even Stevens I guess.)

(Can't take me anywhere.)

That same night I threw on a pair of drawstring pants and a t-shirt and headed back out to to meet Climbsalot and his crew for a little late night climbing session. While having a few (several!) drinks, eating a ton of food, then sobering up and getting sleepy isn’t the best recipe for a successful climbing excursion, I was ready to tackle some wall. I admit to feeling a bit Ocean’s Eleven as we all pulled up one by one in the dark parking lot, waited for the paying members to exit the climbing gym, silently stepped past the front desk and began to suit up. Something about the clinking of the carabiners and the clicking of the harnesses, then someone putting in a (nearly) heavy metal mix as we got down to business… Okay, maybe not Ocean’s Eleven. But something like that, if they all worked at the casino during the day and snuck in at night to play, and if the casino was actually a rock climbing gym. And they didn't talk very much except for things like "climbing!" then "climb on!" And they were all much younger with things like "meeting on the quad" and "final exams" to worry about. And no one was really stealing anything. Except like a bottle of water but whatever I left a dollar at the front desk for that.

I came home a little before 2 in the morning, sweaty and bruised and feeling like I’d just successfully completed my initiation into the Badass Club. And despite waking up Saturday morning and feeling like some unidentifiable crap you try in vain to scrape off the bottom of your shoe that you’re pretty sure came out of someone else’s body at some point and it’s really grossing you out and you could probably just change shoes but dammit you really like these flip flops… ahem. It was totally worth it. (I did end up cancelling tentative plans with another friend for Saturday, but we’ve rescheduled for Thursday- such a relief since I wasn’t sure how I’d fuel my drinking problem that evening).

Really, what the hell did I do with myself when I wasn’t triple-booking my Friday nights?


Fo' rizzle

I'd love to do a proper post, but I've just discovered this site (is this old news to you all? We all know I'm a little slow to catch up to what the hip crowd is doing), and have been reading the alternizzle version of my pizzle; pretty sure I've peed myself enough that it's now time to go change my pants. Plug in your own url and go soil yourself. That's an order, bust it.


A week later and she's still not making any sense

Last night I had a dream in which Monk and I were hanging out with some friends (in the movie credits they would be listed as Cool Crowd Members 1-5) and someone started smoking these full flavor, menthol cigarettes. I’m fairly certain they were the dream-version of Camels (and if you’ve ever smoked a Camel, I’m sure you remember how solid of a cig it is) (do you suppose someone –perhaps a desert dweller with internet access- is making disappointed faces at their computer right now because their Google search for “smoke a camel” brought them to this site?) . Where was I? Oh yes, smoking. Mmmmm, smoking. In the dream, Cool Crowd Member #1 offered a smoke to Monk who actually accepted, which kind of blew my mind since we’ve been completely smoke-free since January 1st (you may now praise me). So of course I took one too, feeling kind of guilty and just-this-once, and just-one-doesn’t-count-does-it about it all. We stood around someone’s car (Cool Crowd! Standing around a car, smoking! How terribly early-90s-angst-filled-movie-esque!) for a bit and I was feeling very conflicted about the whole situation; halfway through the smoke (mmm, smoking, I’ll never forget you) I somehow dropped the whole cigarrette into a puddle. And I thought well, that’s fine, I shouldn’t have been doing that anyway, so it’s better this way, no I’m not going to ask for another one, but damn I was not ready to be finished with that, etc.

I woke up this morning and told my subconscious off for being so utterly uncreative and almost literal in its dream-weaving (yes, Subconscious, I get it. In fact, I got it BEFORE your half-assed, not-quite-metaphorical presentation, thank you, that was quite a waste of REM), then felt a little bad for me, for having a subconscious so stressed out and exhausted that it can’t even muster the strength for a more inventive night’s sleep. Which overall was completely unsatisfying and far too short, if you’re wondering. Despite not going out after class for the first time in months and actually getting to bed at a decent hour. Which just goes to show you it’s far better to go out drinking until 2 in the morning on a Tuesday, rather than be responsible and get to bed before midnight: The next-day fatigue factor is the same, but there’s less of a chance of anyone’s subconscious getting bullied.

Lesson learned.


Weekend (Part 2)

Saturday night I had a date with Skyhawk, after which we planned to go to a club in Deep Ellum to flaunt our passion in Monk’s face while he remained trapped behind a drumset for an hour or so.

Er, I mean, Skyhawk and I met for dinner on Saturday* and then headed to a Latin club in Deep Ellum to watch Monk play a gig with his new band, Asacamola. Okay, that’s not really the name of the band, but I couldn’t hear a damn word anyone said into the microphone –which makes it very difficult to translate from Spanish to English in your head, by the way- and after a while I just started making up things I thought the lead singer should say. The first band was decent, mostly due to their Shakira-esque singer (vocally, not, um, appearance-ly or dancing-ly, to my dismay) and between songs she’d shout something garbled and Spanish into the microphone. “Muchisimas gracias a ...” In my head she was saying “This totally rocks and I am an awesome singer but you’re right, you’re right, I should probably lay off the hair-tossing and weird body-spasming just a little bit because boy is that not working for me, and I’m sorry.”

Monk’s band was also decent, although the lead singer ("Gracias y..." = "Have you noticed how I jump up and down in a threatening yet smurf-like manner?") had this baggy jeans/man jewelry/thugitude thing going for him, and it kinda made me want to poke him in the eye. And then he started “singing” and it kinda made me want to put some duct tape over his mouth. But Monk rocked the drums as usual (I mean ROCKED. You have no idea how much of a badass drummer my husband is, and that is a damn shame), which always makes me feel proud and amazed and happy and a little funny in my naughty place, so overall it was a good time.

Oh hey! You know what’s awkward? When your spouse’s bandmates all get together and are speaking in Spanish and apparently there’s a photo op thing to do, so they have everyone sit on or around a couch, grab a Playboy magazine (yes, the club had Playboys laying around the lofted seating area. Because sometimes, when you are waiting to hear some music or possibly there’s a lull in the conversation, it’s a good time to thumb through a gently-used adult magazine) open it up, and LOOK AT IT while the gaggle of girlfriends take a few pictures. Perhaps this photo will be the one that makes the album cover. So Monk is attempting a bold “sure I’m looking at dirty pictures with a bunch of other men but I’m also kind of bored” pose for the camera, while his wife watches from 3 feet away. Judging from the crumpled look of embarrassment on his face, and the This-Is-What-I-Look-Like-When-I’m-Being-A-Good-Sport expression on mine, it was clear that we had finally (finally! Because we were wondering when it would happen!) reached the Absolute Apex of Awkwardness in that moment- a goal we never knew we’d been striving for but the sense of accomplishment remains the same. (TO THE BAND: Gracias, hombres. Perhaps next time we can blow the lid off this awkward mutha by ordering him up a lap dance. I will bring the dollar bills.)

I also did stuff on Friday and Sunday that included even more booze, staying up too late, class stuff, massage stuff, and consuming twice my monthly quota of sodium and (probably) msg, but this post has gone on long enough, and you didn't really ask about my weekend in the first place.

*to which I was late. LATE, people, laaaaaaate. And all because half the highway was shut down for construction and I had to get off of it and find my way into North Dallas and I called Skyhawk and he was all “that’s cool, no problem, I’m a laidback dude and I’ve changed our reservation time” but then later informed me that if we HAD been out on a date? I would have lost serious points for being FORTY MINUTES tardy. And then I think I lost more points for being (my usual) obnoxious (self) during dinner, but I think we’re both trying to move on, so I won't get into the details.


Weekend (Part 1)

I painted the guest bedroom on Saturday. This is what happens when I have a day off, people- I decide to execute a total room makeover. Heaven forbid I actually relax, sleep in, read a book (a “book?” What is this thing called a “book?”)… The room, which used to be this stomach-churning pastel baby blue color (it is slowly dawning on me that, while I am in active hate of all the pastels, pale blue is the one that really makes me violent) is now a hint of gray, with white trim, white flow-y drapes fluttering around the windows, and is topped off with a nice white bed. Yes, the bed is all white. White pillows, white comforter, more white pillows. White! And gray! Hello, world, we’re the Borings! Nice to meet you! Also, should you be a guest staying at Chez Q, have fun trying to sleep without dirtying up all that white! Yes, you are welcome for the hospitality and what the hell are you doing bringing your soda upstairs with you? I don’t think so mister, nothing but clear liquids allowed in the guest bedroom (and even then it’s on a case-by-case basis) but yes, welcome! Make yourself at home! Mi casa es su casa WIPEYOURFEETGODDAMMIT.

Halfway through all the painting, which wasn’t really that much painting since the guest bedroom is the smallest one in the house (again: You’re welcome! Try not to bump your elbows on the wall while you’re closing the door!), I was thinking boy, I forgot I’m not such a fan of the painting. This is pretty tedious. And also shit, I just dripped paint on the carpet. And damn! I splattered paint on the bed! Along with crap! I just stepped in the paint! Why didn’t I bring any wet rags in here with me! So, no more painting for a while. Too much work, too much clean-up, too much bull-in-a-china-shop action.

Except, I do have another day off this weekend, and the guest bathroom could really use a different hue (currently burn-your-retinas-orange). Also, that newly-painted bedroom? Is really not quite… gray enough. Maybe I should re-do it Saturday and go a shade darker. Hmmm…