Monday, June 19, 2006

How To Melt Your Mom's Heart

As enacted by The Kid

Step One: Get out of the bath and refuse to sleep in anything but your tightie whities.

Step Two: Proceed to fall asleep on the couch while your mom watches a really bad TV show she'd be to embarrassed to tell you she watched (Hell's Kitchen), and talks on the phone with your aunt.

Step Three: Don't be shy about the sleeping on the couch. Spread out, take up the whole thing. Make your mom look at you and wonder if you really have grown 4 inches since school let out (2 weeks ago) and if that is the case, if she could sit and watch you grow like bamboo.

Step Four: Here's your moment. You must be completely and totally and unrousably "asleep." You will not wake up to walk to your bed. You must be carried. You AND your brand new four inches.

Step Five: Allow Mom to carry you to bed. You can totally help her carry you, as in, once she's practically thrown her back out just trying to get you upright, you can totally stand on the couch and hug her tight while she gets you into position for her to carry you to your bed. She'll never know you are fake-sleeping.

Step Six: As she lays you in your bed, pulls up your covers and kisses you on the cheek, you may smile (totally while "sleeping"), because your mission is accomplished, little buddy. You've made your mom turn into mush. If only you weren't sleeping this would be a great time to get her to commit to a trip to Six Flags.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Post For This One Girl Who is Moving to Canada

My mom called me tonight about a half hour after The Kid and I got home from work. She told me that my dad's best friend, Bill, was in town, and would be stopping by to visit tonight around 7pm. I had been home long enough to feed The Kid a pre-dinner pbj, so he'd eaten. I dropped everything and went straight over to her house. I'd drop anything for this friend of my dad's.

We spent the evening talking about our families, the places Bill had lived. He told us about the first time he remembered playing with my dad. Their mothers were planning a dinner at the church, and the two boys were getting into things. There was a ticket booth that they were climbing on, around, and making noise over. In a move that speaks wonders at both the parenting styles of days gone by and the kindred feeling of frustrated mothers everywhere, they gave the boys 20 cents, and shooed them off to the movie theater. Bill and my dad watched a Roy Rogers movie, and were best friends ever since.

He also told me about the time he and my dad ditched school (which I have a feeling was only the tip of the iceberg of that type of story), how they used to take the train up to Denver to stay in a cheap hotel where the famous "cash register" building now stands. He brought us pictures of my dad and their friends. Bill said that heartbreaking thing I've heard before from my dear friend and surrogate Uncle Charlie as we looked at the young faces of my dad and their friends: "I'm the only one left of these guys now."

I would always drop anything to see him. He's a wonderful man, and a wonderful connection to my dad, who I miss so much.

And so, as I drove home, I got to thinking about Shannon, about my friends, and about how once you reach 30, the friends who knew you when mean so much more. Shannon is my oldest friend. Not counting family, Shannon has known me longer than anyone I know today. Shannon, you are my Bill. And I will drop everything for you, any time. I know you have to go to Canada, and I also know that you are going to really love it there. My life has been a series of hellos and goodbyes, but goodbye has always been an easy thing for me. Perhaps this is what happens when your dad dies when you are young, but I think I've learned that few goodbyes are ever truly final. Life is an extraordinary thing, with time and distance and long separations, but we're truly lucky to have memory, and sentiment. Shannon, my dearest, longest held friend: this is only the beginning.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cong Hong I Cong A Gong O

This post just happens to be my 100th. Whoo, I guess.

I spent the last weekend in Chicago. I went to celebrate my 30th year on earth, along with these two, who are aging with me. The first night was low-key, at a bar with a dude playing dj with his mac, and at one time hilariously he tried to accompany his Fat Boy Slim remix with some sadly poor bongo-drumming. And I learned a new language.

Because three is totally a crowd, we decided to invite a few more dear friends to come along with us for our girls night out on Saturday. A few other friends who either live nearby or were miraculously also visiting Chicagoland came up to the city for shopping, kickass Moroccan and more booze. Of course, being that it was a Saturday night in the big city, I invited a couple extra girls out for our big night on the town. So, in the photo below, we have Heather, Brandi, Ernin, me, Paige and of course directly in front of me are Breasty and Chesty. We all had a fabulous dinner out accompanied by some of the best margaritas I've ever had, followed by bar hopping which somehow ended in a heavy metal night club. Like, they played Guns n Roses. It was pretty rocking. Nay, I would say it RAWKED.

As is usually necessitated by a RAWKING Saturday, Sunday was started off with brunch:

Yes. It had pepperoni in it. AND parmesan. AND Guinness.

Of course, the trip was not all booze. Jaci and I spent Sunday at the MCA, which is generally a Sunday well-spent. Jaci and I, of course, being 66% of the initiators of the Sundae Sunday tradition (The Kid being that other third), headed over on this extremely hot day for ice cream, as is our custom:

We spent Sunday night at a barbeque with a bunch of strangers, having been brought to the party by a friend from college, and then spent the rest of the night in a lovely courtyard bar watching hipsters play basketball. Chicago is cool like that.

On Monday, we set back out, this time hitting Millenium Park. There is a Frank Gehry ampitheatre, beautiful gardens...

And The BEAN. The Bean is the single most mesmerizing piece of public sculpture I think has ever been made. On the outside, it looks like a giant, reflective bean. Hence, the name BEAN.

You can walk under it, and look up. It is a huge concave mirror. If you look closely, you can see my camera flash in about 6 different spots:

So, I learned some great things in Chicago:

1. People in Chicago have really cool phones.

2. Hanging out with my best friend, who I admire so much, makes me want to simplify my life. I want to learn how to sew. And take the bus.

3. Don't try to learn a junior high super secret language after your fourth beer. It will make you look like an I Dong I O Tong. But you will have a good laugh for days about it.

4. The 80's are way back, at least at Urban Outfitters.

5. Also in: Crock pot cooking.

In other news:

The Kid graduated from Kindergarten on Wednesday. He's a first grader now. I'm a little stunned about this one. I find I have almost nothing to say, except that I'm proud of him and I love him, and he made really tremendous progress this year.

In still other news:

My sister's dog, Dexter, got married last weekend. Here's one of the wedding stills. My neice officiated. The entire neighborhood attended. Like, had we been home, we so would have been there. Reports are, however, that Dexter and his new bride are sleeping in separate beds, and Dexter apparently has a wandering eye. What a cad.