Considering this will be the last Monday in the office for me for a couple of weeks, I'm in pretty sweet shape overall. Philosophically, at least. It's as crazy here as it ever gets, but somehow, knowing how close I am to vacation, it makes me able to push through and float above. And the weekend was so fun, but went so fast.
And these guys
Which is why I'm deaf now but it was worth it.
I miss Ween being together, but it was something to see half of the band up close and personal at one of my all-time favorite venues. And they played "Gabrielle" and "Piss Up a Rope," two of my actual very favorites from their catalog. I'm really glad we got to go, even if it meant sleeping in a parking lot overlooking the ocean. That's part of the Beachcomber experience. I lost my voice screaming along with the lyrics. I also came home (thanks to Katie and Dad for watching the boo while we played young stupids for a night) and just chilled with my kid. He's quite fun to chill with these days.
I indeed have lots to do in little time. And I have a whopper of an entry I want to make to press this week. But I see the waves waving me in, just days away, and somehow it's all all all all good.
I'm having an emotional time of it just now. I'm OK, my family's OK, everything's OK, but there's a real reason behind it and I will go into it in a dedicated entry, probably next week. Not trying to be vague. Just my way of announcing I am going to throw together a bunch of happy snippets because I'm avoiding feeling real feelings for the nonce.
1) I'm not the world's biggest Justin Timberlake fan. I like him. I have shelled out money for his music. I can recognize his overall quadruple-threat talent. But to me, there is nothing he's done better than his done-me-wrong breakup songs. If he only ever put out "Cry Me a River" and "What Goes Around Comes Around" I'd be cool with it. OK fine, "Rock Your Body" is "Off the Wall" -era MJ goodness, but the breakup songs, to me, really represent his finest hour. I might have been chest popping to "Cry Me a River" in the car this morning. And by "might have been" I mean "totally was." I'm a pretty great chest popper.
2) Last night I engaged in the sport of obsessive vacation list making. Automatic happy zone.
3) I finished Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park--I finally, finally read it--and was thrilled and devastated. It really got to me. I want to talk about it more, perhaps once I've run it through the old avengingsybil microscope. In short, it exceeded the hype I've gotten from my YA compatriots. Go read it, if you haven't.
4) The Leftovers on HBO - started slow, but really hooked me with the trippy third episode. I admit I have a Justin Theroux THING (get in line, right?) but that's not why I like it, I mean not the only reason. It's a real ensemble show. I hope to read the book on vacation.
5) Here are foods I still need to cross off my Summer Must-Eat list:
Oysters on the half shell
All signs point to knocking off at least half of these items before I wrap up the coming weekend.
6) This coming weekend! Two babysitter-gifted nights! A new restaurant to check out! Dean Ween Group on the Outer Cape! My cup runneth the hell over.
(I have missed you, 'Comah!)
I'm still dealing with the sad-which-shall-not-yet-be-named, and my grandmother's having surgery Friday which is hopefully as quick and routine as it is supposed to be but still, you know, surgery. As always, putting all the positive things in writing is a veritable balancing tonic. You should try it sometime.
This weekend wore me out for no reason. This was not a party weekend. And I'm not the one who worked a 12-hour Sunday. Still, I felt like a limp noodle for a majority of the time. Probably the heat. And still catching up from the weekend before. Come to think of it, Mike and I were both in full-bore clean-and-organize mode, which takes a lot of energy out of you. The shape of the house is worth it (the bystander can't tell, but to us we got a lot accomplished). And from now until we leave for vacation the daily planner looks like a marathon of necessary things to get done before we go away, peppered with some super fun happenings. Guess I'd better take advantage of the resting bits when they come along.
HR's little event on Saturday added to the familial exhaustion because it required us to be out in the blazing heat, but the look on his face when he saw his favorite guys was a million times worth it. Plus: all-you-can-eat ice cream samples.
The spent feeling is behind me for now, and something about this day makes me want to keep attacking it, so back to attack mode.
I have an entry in the works about what it means to come from a place that is built--its very survival depends--upon industrial pollution. It is a bitter and accusatory and conflicted and EEE-motional screed, and this is just not the day to post it. It's ugly, and it's too pretty of an almost-Friday to write about ugly. Stay tuned if you like big heavy ones, though, it's coming soon.
A couple of quick, non-heavy things:
1) my favorite guy and favorite girl on SYTYCD have been paired together, and it's already paid off. Could Ricky and Valerie be my new Aaron and Jasmine? Joshua and Katee, at least? Time will tell. But I expect big things. Second favorite couple right now is Rudy and Tanisha. And I think Jessica is the truth, even though I was not in her corner all through auditions and call-backs because I think she relied on her hair too much to do the dancing for her.
2) I'm still writing! I'm in a groove! It's FICTION even. I've been evicted from my rut, it feels mad and I love it.
3) my vacation is in two weeks and I'm going to make up for all the time that I haven't yet spent at a beach this summer. The weather has to be good during out stay this year. Just has to. Even though it's snuck up on me as usual and I haven't even begun the obsessive packing and shopping list process, I am so ready.
4) we're going to a kid-centric event on Saturday that will be crowded and have lots of characters in furry suits. Normally that would be the intro to the description of my nightmare, but I'm actually pretty excited about it because HR is excited about it, and I know he will love it. Kids make you weird.
5) did I mention the beach? The beach. I miss you beach. I am coming for ya, baby.
When I was a little girl I would look at my Memere's hands and wish that mine would look the same, if not right then, someday. Elegant hands, beringed, with very prominent, juicy veins criss-crossing the backs, looped over the fingers. You could push down the vein and it would disappear for a second, then pop back up, it was mesmerizing. I can't imagine she loved me doing this to her, but she tolerated it. These hands were so beautiful to me, the very picture of what a grown woman's hands should be. My flat, smooth, child's hand didn't hold a candle. I did not know a thing about skin elasticity, or even if I did, I would not have appreciated it. Because I took my boring, dewy young hands for granted. They were temporary. Like little girls envisioned growing curves, I envisioned growing into those hands.
Time is a funny, funny thing. Because fast forward to my thirties, when every time I look at my hands or feet I cringe. Ecch, those veins. I am getting old. Age is cruel. Must not photograph by any means.
And then, at my haircut last week, catching a glimpse of my lumpy-backed hand in repose in the mirror as my stylist hovered behind me.
Those are Memere's hands.
Suddenly, it comes back. This is my wish come true. These hands. Once a model for mature loveliness, now a badge of honor. When HR looks at them, when I wash his hair, when I tuck him in and rub his back, he isn't saying, "EW, old lady hands!" I'm not saying he's thinking about them at all. But I'm saying that everything means something different through the lens of aging. You forget what you once thought was beautiful. Check out this flipper at almost 40:
I mean, whatever, it's just a hand. But looking at it means something different to me now than it did even a week ago. The thoughtless dismissal, the barely contained disgust of my ever-changing body. I want to move away from that. I still think that Memere's were nicer. Her fingers more tapered, nails always beautifully done. She moved her hands with grace. She was a real classy broad, that Dot.
Try as I may, I will never be the lady that my grandmother was. But I can embrace the parts of her I've inherited. Upturned nose. Sturdy, capable body. Taking pleasure in a game of dice and a proper 4 o'clock cocktail. Love of the ocean. And the hands, the battle-tested, baby soothing, goodbye waving roadmaps of a life well lived. Though arthritis eventually claimed those hands (as everything is claimed when you live long enough), I hope that she had a moment to stand back and appreciate all that made her beautiful to the ones who loved her. To someone of her generation I imagine that the whole body-acceptance movement would come across as self-indulgent and silly. But I hope it for her, anyway.
This long weekend was a non-stop riot of friends and ice cream cake and dance parties that went until 4 a.m. In other words, an absolute blast and I was well-done toast by Sunday evening. It's worth it. It's always, always worth it to me. The truth is, I'm a mild-mannered glasses wearing nerdish mama keyboard cat by day, but my alter ego comes out when there's Salt n Pepa on the ipod and one more, oh, just ONE more refill. I am a rage-into-the-night beast, and if that hasn't changed by now, I don't see how it's ever gonna. To know this is to know the essence of me.
Another thing happened in the circle of life, and it's that HR had his first experience with the death of a pet. I know it's only a goldfish who went belly up, but it was a little rough on all of us to say goodbye to Yoda and send him back to the ocean. Seeing things through a little one's eyes, trying to guess what they're thinking, gives everything such a weighty significance. I tried to prepare him when we noticed the fish swimming all wonky yesterday, and he kept coming up with ideas that would make him feel better. It was so sweet it could break your heart. It broke mine a bit. This morning he said, "I'll just pretend that Yoda's still in the tank with Goldie," and proceeded to talk to the fish like everything's normal. And now he thinks we should get a donkey, so if you know a guy, we're looking.
SYTYCD competition started last night. Everyone killed it. Everyone. I get such a high watching those performances. I have no idea who I am going to love this year, probably Ricky still, my gut feelings tend to pay off. He has this Billy Bell/Jakob Karr quality that is truly beyond. Stanley is also magical to watch, and the male tapper is way charismatic. The female tapper is my #1 girl still. Just a really fun show overall. I never want anyone to go home.
It is strange to me that the cast is so... monochromatic? Not a woman of color among the 10? That's weak. And only two hip-hop/b-boys, which is a departure from previous years. But it looks like everyone is pretty well rounded, so I look forward to surprises aplenty.
The day before a holiday is always pretty free-form around here, so I think I'll spend some time filling up my word-hole. And maybe watching all 11 of last night's performances again.
Happy and safe Fourth, friends! Just because I'm not spending mine at the yacht club doesn't mean I can't dress the part.
Why yes I'm still outraged, thanks for asking. I'm steeped in my outrage. Marinated in it. It's OK though because it's not a blind rage, not any more. It's more laser focused by the hour. And focus + time = something useful. So let's just put that there and move forward.
This past weekend I went to Maine and it was too short a time as always, but still a great opportunity to be with loved ones and be utterly lazy. I helped with some gardening and Mike and I got to go for a run together which hasn't happened in years, plus running between the river and farmland with the view of mountains up ahead beat the hell out of dodging garbage cans in Central Square. But mostly it was eatin' and drinkin' and visitin'.
There was a surprise party for my cousin's 25th anniversary (I remember this wedding like it was last week) which was nice, and leaving there gave me a zing of excitement because I could say to everyone gathered, "I'll see you in less than a month on THE ISLAND." Hot damn, this summer is moving fast. That's not really OK, but I can't very well do anything about it.
And this afternoon, you'll all be relieved to know, I go to get my grown-out pixie mullet problem dealt with, and I think we can all agree that if there's one thing I can contribute to humanity today, aiming for one less mullet might be the best I can do.
I AM SO ANGRY. Sorry for yelling, but I'm having a real problem with the precedent set by the highest court in the nation. Everyone's read the news. Everyone has their own opinion about it and is entitled to it. It doesn't change the fact that once again women are getting the shaft because of some bullshit morality being projected upon them. Keep your church business in church, how is that so difficult? The hypocrisy, the double standards getting a pass here, it's revolting. So, time to revolt. We can't let the rich white bros' club keep getting away with this. The Handmaid's Tale is upon us, people. It's one of my favorite books of all time, because it's a chilling masterpiece, but it's not like I want to live in the society depicted within. What's always made that book so terrifying is that the world created there is a paper-thin departure from our reality. You could actually see it happening, which is worse than any Stephen King concoction. That paper is getting uncomfortably thinner by the day thanks to our penis-brandishing justices.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one force to be reckoned with, a badass with a collection of adorable doilies with which to adorn her judicial blacks, and it breaks my heart that her calm reason and mighty intellect--and that of the other female justices--was overshadowed by the boys. The story of life as a woman in a nutshell. I am not saying that because I think I am or feel like a victim. This particular verdict doesn't even technically apply to me, because 1) my employers are equal opportunity good guys, and 2) I'm not even on birth control any more thanks to my husband's vacectomy. Which MY insurance covered. But I am still a woman and I am outraged on behalf of all women. On behalf of all human beings.
OUTRAGED that the first amendment has been so warped. That the freedom of religion has been mangled to serve big business. If anything good comes of the latest SCOTUS jerkery, it's that I am not alone in my outrage. Far from it. Righteous anger is the thing people like me need to break out of complacency. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with all the mad, but I can't do nothing. This is too far. This is the point where hope gets re-ignited. Because without that singular burning hope, we might as all be divided into quarantined breeders and barren trophy wives.
I feel you, R.B.G. Your withering side-eye will be its own legacy.