Go away

Have I mentioned the rain? The raaaaaaaaaaainnnnnnnn, people, it will not stop. Rather, it stops, for about an hour, and then it pours again. And maybe you're driving home all bummed out because rock climbing's been cancelled, thinking "hmmm, perhaps I will go check out the other climbing gym after dinner, thank goodness it's stopped raining" when the sky opens up and shits all over you.

Sorry. Too graphic? My brain is shutting down, tactful areas first, in preparation for the Great Flood we are about to have here in Texas. God seems to be hosing off the end of his bible belt, but good. You know what, God? Whatever schmutz was on there? I think you got it. We're all about to float away over here, so (if you do in fact exist, mister): Please to cut it out in a most immediate fashion.

Rain rain rain rain rain -5 seconds of sun!- rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain -flooded kitchen!- rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain -Mmmm, mosquitoes!- rain rain rain rain rain rain rain

At first I was all, yay, poor man's car wash! But now I think I may shoot someone. Did you know "rain" is only two letters' difference from "rage?" What may have been an unimportant coincidence a month ago now carries significant -nay, profound- implications. I have cabin fever re: this whole soggy plane of existence here in Texas. I'm climbing the walls (ha ha not really cuz lame ol' Climbsalot did indeed bail on me last night, the jerk). The walls of my LIFE here, people. The weather, it tortures me. We will look back on this summer as the Summer of Nonstop Rain.

Lest you think I'm exaggerating, let me tell you of the traffic sign I read approximately 32 times as it blinked its message down to all the poor saps (yours truly included of course) parked on the highway this morning, while the rain (RAIN!) gushed down on us. Usually this sign is lit up to warn us of an accident, advise us of travel times, or report a missing child. This morning, however, the sign simply stated:


Yeah, thanks, sign, that's kind of what we're all trying to avoid around here, during this SUMMER OF NONSTOP GODDAMN RAIN RAIN RAIN.


I don't know if this qualifies as a "problem"

Hi. How was your weekend. Good, good. Yes, mine was okay, thanks. Saturday, you ask? Well. Remember those drinks Monk and I enjoyed before Operation Baby Bird Rescue blew up in our faces? We thought it would be a lot of fun to have some of those drinks again, then walk over to the movie theater near our house and take in a film. Luckily we opted to see Blades of Glory; by the time we reached the theater it was pretty obvious that our rum-and-Corona-soaked brains wouldn’t be able to comprehend anything more… cerebral.

The movie was awesome. Please don’t ask me to quote any lines or describe a scene from it or anything, just take my word for it that it was great. How would I sum it up, you ask? Hmmm… Will Ferrell (hysterical), something something, GOB from Arrested Development (damn I miss that show), ice skating, less-than-subtle homo-erotic insinuations, the girl from The Office (she’s so pretty when she’s not wearing a cardigan), oh god I’m buzzing, but hard. Whoa. Oh, is it over already? Cool. Can you help me out of my seat?

We left the theater, stumbled over to the store for sustenance (just FYI- “sustenance” apparently meant two big bags of Doritos. That would be our dinner. Which we never tore into. Totally worth the walk). On the walk back we climbed a mountain.

Back home, back to drinking, and oh! Let’s dance! Yay for iTunes! Let’s make a dance playlist (initially titled “Drunk Dance Playlist,” later re-titled “Dance, dammit”) and burn a CD and THEN dance, fuck yeah!

Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance

(If this were the kind of blog where I share too much information I’d probably let you know that after the dancing there followed some hanky panky that could only be described later as “questionable,” and that Monk calmly and quietly threw up a few times afterwards.

I’ve since been told the two events were not related.)

Sunday I was lucky enough to have an extra long day at the massage clinic. I’m pretty sure that hell = having to give a 90-minute deep tissue massage while extremely hungover. The fatigue and nausea were bad enough, but the rolling hot flashes almost took me out of the game.

When exactly is this “growing up” thing supposed to happen?



I would really hate that last Lifetime-Television-for-Women Original-Movie-esque post except that I have, on occasion, actually caught parts of certain Lifetime-Television-for-Women Original Movies* and, while there is much suckage and sappage, somehow I get drawn into the story, unable to turn away, quietly rooting for the average-looking woman with bright red lipstick, stretched out cardigan sweater, mom jeans, 80s hair and sad, sad eyes.

So yes, that dream of mine was a bit heavy on the fuzzy lens, gag-factor, but I have to give props to my subconscious for making up such a character + background story and coloring in the vivid details the way it did- I'd say it was at least... marginally better than a Lifetime-Television-for-Women Original Movie. And there are people actually getting paid to write those scripts, you know.

I don't get paid to have dreams with somewhat-involved plotlines and then write about them later. And some of you might think I would eventually get the hint and at least stop writing about them. But some of you would be wrong. I don't do hints. Well, I do, but only in create-your-own-hint situations, when it is something I've taken so far out of context and assigned a colorful, terrible implication to it, then stabbed it through my heart for the best take-it-personally impact, all so I can begin screeching "what the HELL do you mean by THAT?!" at my unsuspecting victims.

Where was I? Something about not getting paid to be so Original Movie with my dreams? Oh hell, I don't know and I'm actually boring myself now (which, considering my little hamster brain, is not surprising). Have a good weekend and remember: It's okay, the sad-eyed lady will triumph in the end. Or she'll die and leave her baby to your care. Which would probably suck in real life, but is actually pretty inspiring and empowering and happy tears beautiful on Lifetime-Television-for-Women.

*Accidentally! When I was trying to catch an episode of Golden Girls! Huh, that doesn't make it any cooler, does it?


I remember

He had a silver ID bracelet with his initials in fancy font and some nonsensical phrase I can’t remember etched on the other side- a tribute to bands, behaviors, a decade of his life and a personal motto I never knew.

Persevering through several moves was a beat-up old bookshelf. On the top of that bookshelf always sat (always) a cheap silver frame of two boys, best friends, possibly 8 years old. The frame was autographed ("Richard James Tyler") by his friend (
on the right, goofy grin) in permanent black marker that had begun to rub off years ago.

His best, childhood friend (on the right, goofy grin) actually died Over There, after receiving a medal, and the medal had been sent to him by the parents, according to special instructions thoughtfully (morbidly?) made before the friend shipped out.

Three possessions lending peace and permanence to an ever-changing life, shaping his identity, guarding his heart.

We hadn’t spoken for years when we ran into each other at the pub. Conversation stumbled, smoothed out, was bathed in the relief of finding our old familiar rhythm. Hours passed, affectionate gestures were exchanged, it was assumed we’d see each other the next evening. Where was this going? Was the connection just as solid as it had been? Would a life-altering decision once again be placed on the table?

The next morning a cardboard box was delivered- small, white, with folded-in flaps like the steamed rice containers from the local Chinese place. I opened the box and pulled back a layer of robin's egg blue tissue paper to reveal a silver ID bracelet with his initials etched in fancy font. Another layer of tissue paper shielded a silver picture frame of two boys, best friends, possibly 8 years old. As I pulled away the last layer of blue paper and recognized the medal it became clear that he was Serious, this was a Big Deal, and I had a Major Decision to Make. I held the bracelet, the frame and the medal out in front of me and realized: by making his three most prized possessions mine, he was handing me his long-guarded heart, the keys to everything he held dear. The decision? A no-brainer.

Whew, dreams are funny, aren't they?


My Day Off

Sunday, 4 p.m.
Still raining. Raining all day. Rain rain rain.
Q: So, are you ready to start drinking? And watch another movie?
Monk: Sure!

This is where I should warn you kiddos that pouring hard liquor INTO your beer before drinking it probably indicates consuming said beer with at least a small measure of caution. Certainly not quickly and thirstily and soon-to-be-wasted-ly.

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.

Monk (hurrying back into the kitchen from the backyard): There’s a baby bird out in the grass, don’t let the dogs out. It’s not moving.
Q (not usually a bird sympathizer, yet after a few strong drinks cannot help but become wringing-of-the-hands sympathetic to the baby bird’s flight. Emphasis on “pathetic”): Oh god, oh no, is it dead? (thinking please don’t ask me to help clean it up. Pleeease don’t ask me. I don’t want to have to get the shovel.)
Monk (URGENTLY!): No, but it can’t fly and it needs to get out of the yard.

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
Monk mentally prepares himself to save the day and (Drunken) Operation Baby Bird Rescue is underway. This involves putting on heavy work gloves, a semi-threatening waddle-like chase of the baby bird, and a lot of shooing gestures.

Also (apparently) involves yelling at his wife to “Cover me! COVER ME!!!” I don’t know, in case the mama bird comes screeching and careening out of the neighbor’s tree in a terrifying, dive-bomb type of maneuver, just pulling up at the last possible moment to latch onto the bridge of his nose with her tiny bird claws and go all Woody Woodpecker apeshit-crazy on his eyeballs with her pointy little beak???

Sunday, 5:35 p.m.
Perhaps you kiddos should also be informed that a good buzz + an over-dramatic spouse yelling shit like “COVER ME!” while lumbering after a baby bird in the backyard = uncontrollable laughing fit = buzzed bird whisperer spouse becoming a leeeetle bit angry at laughing hyena woman taking pictures with her camera = more yelling = laughter turning into pouting because when we drink we like to take things personally…

It’s all okay. I know you were worried there for a minute. Monk and I worked it out without needing any couples' counseling (I ask you, how can a person stay angry when there is more rum to consume and a Sponge Bob cookie to distract her?), the baby bird is (presumably) okay, the Chinese food came quickly, and only one of the three movies viewed sucked royally.

Hope everyone else’s Father’s Day was just as drama-filled and delinquent as ours. But that maybe you were spared the one sucky movie.



File under Massage Class > Random Thoughts

It's kind of depressing when the guy you and a female classmate have paired up with for the night looks at the two of you, then down at his chest and says "I think I have more of a rack than the two of you, combined."

Depressing for everyone involved, that is. But kind of hysterical, too.


Worth the time

Wednesday evening I showed up at the climbing gym, eager to get started after taking the previous week off. Climbsalot greeted me with a gleeful I know which route you’re climbing today. We trekked over to one of the “silos” and I eyed the route suspiciously. That looks… a little rough I said. Nah, it’s fun, it’s a blue he replied (green routes are the easiest, blues are intermediate, black routes are expert stuff. Of course, this is all relative to your skill, fatigue level, sweat output, missing handholds, etc. We’ve been exclusively climbing the intermediate routes for a few weeks now. "Intermediate" also means "wow-this-is-challenging-but-i-ain’t-goin’-back-to-the-beginner-stuff-dammit.")

Climbsalot went first, and after much huffing and puffing and grunting and swearing (all his), I called up to him That doesn’t sound like "fun." He ignored me. Eventually (and inevitably) he conquered the route, I lowered him down, then spent some time squinting up the wall at the handholds. My turn. More huffing and puffing and grunting and swearing (all mine this time, natch). I may have done the splits a couple of times, bracing myself against the adjacent walls. And slipped once or twice. And scrabbled a little. Not the best-looking climb, but when I finally reached the top I looked down (holy hell was I up there) and thought damn, that WAS fun. Once Climbsalot lowered me to the floor and I’d disgusted him with the rivers of sweat pouring off of me, he took me around the corner to show me the route rating. I’d just completed my first black. I grinned at him - but if I had any remaining strength I’d smack you.

After the Big Deceit, we had a few light climbs and some bouldering, then Climbsalot raised an eyebrow and said So, wanna go up to the roof? We ducked under and around a false wall and slipped through a mini-doorway into a dark space (you're not claustrophobic, are you?) where he pointed to the metal rungs bolted into the wall, laddering all the way up what used to be an elevator shaft. Climbsalot jumped up to the first rung of the ladder and started the ascent; I quietly followed, concentrating on deliberately grasping each rung, noting the occasional clink of our carabiners swinging against the wall behind us. Every now and then Climbsalot would drop some information down the shaft at me: The elevator is about mid-way up, watch your head! Look how the elevator rail is actually made of wood- crazy, huh? There’s a bent rung right here, be careful. Halfway up the elevator shaft it struck me: I'm climbing all the way up a fucking elevator shaft in the semi-dark, to stand on the top of this building for a while. For no good reason whatsoever. Sometimes life is pretty awesome.

Out on the roof of the building, Climbsalot kicked some debris out of my path, pointed out some landmarks, and then we fell into an easy, sporadic conversation. The wind threatened to blow us off the top of the silo a few times so we agreed it was not the day to walk around the edge to the other side. We talked about watching fireworks from this vantage point, my career change uncertainty, and partying long enough to catch the sunrise.

After we made our descent and removed our gear, Climbsalot suggested we grab some dinner. Over spur-of-the-moment gyro plates and what was quite possibly the smoothest hummus ever, we discussed trips to Europe, apartment hunting, how much we like climbing together, and relationships. He dropped me off in the parking lot of the climbing gym tired, full, and exhilarated. We agreed it would be tough to miss next week’s climbing session but that he’d call when he got back to town- maybe next time we’d tackle another black route.

Later that night, after describing the evening to Biff, she exclaimed "Okay, you just had, like, the best. date. ever!" I laughed: "I know! If you ignore the fact that I’m happily married and that he’s getting hitched this weekend, it would've been freakin’ magical. Like one of Hollywood’s great Movie Moments."

But then I thought of the magic involved in forging a friendship, unleashing your inner badass, having a little adventure, sharing a fantastic meal, and going home to tell the coolest spouse in the world all about it, knowing he'll share your enthusiasm 100% (and agree that it was probably the best. date. ever). Forget the Hollywood spin, I like this movie.

Sometimes life is pretty awesome.


How to Impress the Owner of Your School

(a character who is pretty much a mix of the Sheriff from that animated Robin Hood movie, and Chris Farley. But louder, and crankier.)

1) Get caught absolutely NOT paying attention during the class he is teaching.

2) Lose it hysterically when your classmate catches your eye, after the eightieth mispronounced/made-up word makes it into the lecture (I'm sorry, but, "discriminative?!").

3) Have the following exchange with him:


Q: Because you always keep the classroom at sub-zero temperatures.


Q: ...I would, cuz I'd eat you.

*Um, what?