trippy trips

Home. Town.

OH HI. You thought I forgot about you, huh? No, in fact it is a true statement that I think about you pretty much every day. But life keeps going fast, filling up every dang minute, and this is it, May, before I blinked. “This is it, this is it! This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball!”

If you read that and knew it was the One Day at a Time theme song, we are still friends. If you don’t know what One Day at a Time is, I won’t say we have to break up, but we may need to have a talk to realign our hearts. And the procedure for realignment may include watching One Day at a Time episodes.

I have many things to catch you up on, dear friends. Mainly, I TOOK A WEEK OFF. I am terrible at taking time off for the past couple years all of a sudden (WHO HAVE I BECOME) and it is straight bullcrap of the highest order. So many people don’t even have the luxury of such a thing as vacation days and here I am just letting them sit there. For Pete’s sake. More egregious than For Pete’s sake, actually. For Pete Gallagher’s eyebrows’ sake. Anyway, I did take a week off last month to go visit my homies in the homeland of Flint. First of all, my dear friend Map was celebrating her wedding anniversary and her kids threw her and their dad a surprise party for it. The entire party was a surprise, but me and my other friend Ali showing up from out of town was the surprise within the surprise. The goop inside the Freshen Up gum, if you will, only less disgusting. I have been to surprise parties before but this one was by far the best. First of all, because Map and her dude were HELLA SHOCK. It was so satisfying. And then, when she saw me and my dude and Ali, she was DOUBLE HELLA SHOCK. I mean, she looked stunned and she cried and was just speechless. I felt, in that moment, what it must feel like for Oprah. Just walk in and make someone lose their shit, you know? It was fun being Oprah.

Seeing those ladies fills up my soul. I am definitely a Friends-for-Life sort of person and if you are in my circle I give it my all, like FULL OUT, and if I am honest my Seattle friend-life has been sort of lonesome these days. It was so beautiful to be around these people that love me so unabashedly and unconditionally, the way I love them. THOSE LADIES! Love them like the dickens, for real. Plus, just the week was really blissful overall, hanging out with my beloved mama and tooling around town. It was perfect spring weather and flowers were blooming and everywhere we went we felt that Flint friendliness piling on. Seattle is cool but it doesn’t love me like that place does. My dude loves Flint as much as I do and we walked around my mom’s neighborhood and tried to figure out if it could be feasible to move back there somehow, because shouldn’t one live in a place that loves you back? We just couldn’t make it add up for now, for various complex reasons that are boring, and truth be told I know in my heart I would be singing a different tune if I got a taste of those ridiculous winters there again. I don’t have what it takes to live in an ice-based environment, as a person who is sitting here typing this while it is 65 degrees and wondering where my blankie at.

Anyway, dear Flint, thanks for making me who I am, and for still being there for me. I know part of it is that I am now an Old that feels almost nothing but nostalgia for better days, when my dad was here and my Flint friends were always there for me and I danced every day and the world didn’t seem as cruel overall as it does now. But I also love it for the parts that aren’t about me at all: so much beauty and dignity and fight there. I cherish that place, y’all, and will always be back. And my Flint ladies: until next time. LOVE YOU 4EVER and I wish I could Oprah you every day.

Stereo up and the windows down. Same old city, still driving around. It’s the only place I clear my mind. Passed the 7-11 and the neon signs.

Hold me close, then hold me tighter cause the world I know is falling apart, the world I know is falling apart 

–Michigander, Nineties

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Run away with you

I am sorry to start off with mega banality but a few days ago it was warm and so I retired my puffy coat and I could not have been more excited to wear lighter non-puffed outerwear and then I went to work and the weather was like SIKE and I froze my patoots and so now I am back to Sean Puffy Coat. Until we meet again, spring jackets. We will be together someday.

Everyone I know seems to be in a funk these days. How y’all doing? I hope you are taking care, and taking care of each other. I continue to burn the candle at several ends but the upside is that I have been sleeping the sleep of the mummified at night which is a new thing for me. My nighttime self really wants nothing whatsoever to do with anybody or anything these days. It’s like the click of the bedside lamp happens and my brain says “DEAR WORLD, NOPE” and that’s that. How’s that for a bright side?

Last weekend was the anniversary of the day that my dude and I met each other and it was kind of a big one in terms of number and it’s sad to say but neither of us could get our shit together enough to plan one gotdamn thing for it. We got up on Saturday morning and looked at each other over breakfast and I was like “fuck dude, I am so depleted” and he was like “fuck it, let’s get in the car and drive” and I was like “fuck yes” and he was like “fuck off Seattle” and we left. We got to Portland and HEY SEATTLE PEOPLE YOU KNOW WHERE THE SUN IS? IN PORTLAND. Those emeffers had all the rays, it was like Arizona except green and full of artisanal items. The first day we just walked and walked and talked and talked and by the end of the day I think I started to thaw my funk-ass heart a little. STRESS, SHAKE OFF. LIKE, BEGONE. We had a lovely dinner and then: oh sweet elixir of life, we got a pint of ice cream, laid up in a fancy hotel bed and watched HGTV and maybe idk smooched a little bit and that was thaaaaaa best. Oh hi, Chip and Joanna, Jonathan and Drew, fixy uppy flippy floppy tiny housey ALL OF IT. Now that we no longer have the cable tvs at home this was truly a treat and a half. The following day was a freaking delight and you know what really heals my heart? Looking at that dude of mine and holding him by the hand. I love him with all of my gutbones. Glad I found him all those years ago back in dinosaur times. Good job on that one, me. See how I turn it around and make it about congratulating myself? That’s just how I be sometimes. The point is, good anniversary time was had, love was felt, I am a lucky dingus.

On a related note: THIS SONG.  ❤

Runaway, Tay Walker

From Sun to Sog

Whereas Hayden’s love for the city of LA might be described as Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail where she is like “I really do not like you, Tom Hanks, except wait, what is happening, now I am up close and OMG I LOVE YOU,” my love for LA is more along the lines of Maria in West Side Story, being all in from the get go, just “My hands are cold, you’re so warm, so beautiful…TONIGHT, TONIGHT LET’S MAKE THIS ENDLESS DAY ENDLESS NAAAAAAAAAAHT” Yeah, I know those are New York movies, whatever.

I had a gorgeous, beautiful, perfect birthday in LA. To sum it up, for my birthday dinner I got a gigundo plate of potato/mushroom tacos for five bucks while a dj spun a re-mixed “I’m Free” by Kenny Loggins, and my dude was there, and my dearest Hayden and her beauteous fam and some new friends and I was wearing a sundress and sandals in October. I VOTE YES ON THIS EXPERIENCE.

Now, we are back in Seattle and it is like someone is wringing a gigantic wet sponge over the entire city and the sunlight has been turned off. So. A little contrast, you might say. Plus it is really hard on my no-gortex fashion policy. I probably shouldn’t joke, since we keep hearing that shit could go really bad for us over the weekend, like 100 mile an hour winds and stuff? Sheeeeeeeeeeeet. Wish us luck.

Flight Times

I am back from my travels and you know that scene from Almost Famous where Patrick Fugit has been on the road for what seems like months with a bus full of sweaty hairy hippies and he walks into his bedroom at home for the first time and raises his arms up and says “AHHHHH” like coming home to his own bed is so beautiful an experience it is almost painful? TOTALLY ME.

Remember how I was saying that everything in my life was happening in thirteen hour increments? Well, let me tell you that my trip home was not thirteen hours, and that’s not because a normal Michigan-Seattle flight is about 5 hours. Not for me, honeys! For me, it was sixteen hours. In sixteen hours, I went from Michigan to Ohio to North Carolina to Seattle. Why you do dis, airliners? After the grueling week I had, just, nope nope nope.

My dude had flown out to Michigan so he could spend the weekend with me and my mom, and so we got to experience our Flight Across America together on the way back. When we landed in Richmond, NC, he went to get his backpack from the overhead bin and IT WUDN’T THERE. Someone took his on accident, y’all!

We got off the plane and started running through the airport looking for the backpack person. It was so DRAMATIC- we both fanned out and just dodged our way through the crowd, scanning everywhere. It was just as though Jason Bourne had lost his backpack. I am sure that is how he would have handled it. Although he probably would have found the person and chopped them in the throat to get it back. We neither found it this way nor chopped anyone. We were in a panic though, because inside that backpack was not only an iPad, but there was also a giant ziploc bag full of my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls. LIKE, GOLD DUBLOONS, BASICALLY.

Finally, we admitted defeat and went to the gate to report it. By that time the person had returned the backpack so it was sitting there all innocently, waiting for us. The gate agents had the nerve to scold us about leaving the backpack on the plane and we were too tired to argue the point that it was someone else’s case of Mistaken Backpackity.

Anyway, now I am home, it is total sunny gorgina in Seattle this week, I have had two nights in a row of sleep, glorious sleep, and all is good.

Cleveland

Lordy Lordy Barry Gordy. My week has been straight banaynays y’all. I went to Cleveland for work all week. It started out with a bang when my flight from Chicago to Cleveland got cancelled which meant my six hour trip turned into a thirteen hour poopsicle. Follow that with thirteen hour work days each day with no breaks WHY IS EVERYTHING HAPPENING IN 13 HOUR INCREMENTS and I am thirteen hundred percent wrung out.

The positive side of that sob story is that Cleveland was a lovely city. Gorgeous architecture and you know I’m a sucker for that upper Midwest no bullfeces friendliness. I went to this restaurant called Crop, which was in a building that used to be an old timey bank. Vaulted ceilings, marble columns, two story murals. It was breathtaking.

Anyway. I’m tired and my brain is dried up. So I rented a car and drove three hours to the place of my birthingtimes. Flint! Where spring has sprung and my mom is waiting to bust my guts open with delicious eats.

Ahhhhh, weekend.

I took off, hoser

When I get frazzled, I get clumsy. Not romantic comedy heroine clumsy, which is the kind that would make Colin Firth and Hugh Grant want to fight over me. My clumsy doesn’t have pheremonal powers. Late last week I knew I needed to SLOW DOWN because I was running out the door for work when I realized that my nail polish was looking haggard. Because I was going to have to stand up in front of a room full of people talking my blah blahs that day, I decided to give my nails a quick cleanup before leaving the house, from which I was already late leaving. This brilliant decision-making ended up in a situation where I spilled AN ENTIRE BOTTLE OF NAIL POLISH REMOVER ONTO MY LESS THAN SIX MONTH OLD COUCH. I just bought that couch, you guys. It cost me a lot of cheddar.

This was the last straw of clumsiness for my week. I needed a break. So I packed up my dude and drove to Canadia, Northern America, Maple Syrup HQ, Prime Ministered by J-Tru, Who Seems to Give All My Friends the Urge to Knock da Boots. Vancouver: the San Diego of Canada, as I have decided to call it. I didn’t even upgrade my phone service so I didn’t have no internets whilst there. To me, this is basically camping.

We arrived in record time, we ate a lot of delicious foods, we walked for miles, and we holed up in a fancy hotel room. DID YOU GUYS KNOW THERE IS A WORLD WHERE YOU DO NOT WORK FOR SEVERAL DAYS AT A TIME. NO, REALLY. TIS TROOF.

This episode taught me several life lessons.

  1. If you have a kingdom where you get to name your currency, do something fun and twee like Canada, where the one dollar piece is called a Loonie, and a two dollar piece is called a Toonie.
  2. Maybe don’t spend all your Loonies and Toonies on couches when you have dangerous acetone-related nail vanity.

Two things, that’s all I got. Or should I say Toonie things? Is that too much? Or should I say is that TOONIE MUCH?

Clearly I need to stop now.

California Love

I up and went to the Land of Rice-a-Roni a little bit ago, to give a talk about some profesh biz. I’m fancy, I know. Fancy in Sancy Francy, is the title of the trip.

I tagged on some fun along the way of course, because that’s how I do. Much of it revolved around visiting with friends and family, most of whom have a proliferation of cute baby kiddos to play with. Take my friend Jen, for example. She is clearly centering her entire life around the concept of adorableness because: her house? Cute. Herself? Gorgeous. Her hubs? Sweet. Her KIDDO? DARLING. This little kid runs around with a gang of stuffed animals, all bunnies. Like, exponential cuteness. UNFAIR.

I then went to hang out with my brosef and sister-in-law-sef and their little baby girlie. And that baby sweetheart? Giggliest little cutestuff you ever set eyes on. Like, I was almost killed. She almost cuddled me to death over two days, was the first attempt. And then the second attempt was when I had to leave. That one almost did me in completemente. Oh, that little girl! I will never recover, I am sure.

Besides amazing friends, family, and rugrats, the other thing of note was foods! Oh, the vittles I met and demolished on this trip. May I say: if you are in Oakland, go eat a row of tacos at Xolo. If you are in Berkeley, go eat some risotto at Revival.

Last but not least, my fella and I were eating gelato in Union Square and we saw a pigeon fly right down onto a guy’s table and pick up a roll OFFA HIS PLATE RIGHT IN THE GUY’S FACE and fly away. He’s been living most his life livin’ in a pigeon-gangster paradise, is how I believe the original Coolio song went.

Land of Ports

This past Friday I was invited to a conference in Portland to drop some of my profesh knowledges on some unsuspecting librarians. I planned to head out after work on Thursday in my car until I realized that four things would be happening at that time. One, it would be lights out, pitch black, dark (Daylight Savings, TOTAL CRAP). Two, it was raining cats and dogs and hairy toads. Three, it would be rush hour. And four, I would be really tired after my work day. One plus one plus one plus one equals not a great time for me to be getting behind the wheel. So, I took a bus. Which was ok except for that fact that I forgot to pack my earbuds which is a First World Tragedy of the highest order because it meant I had to sit still in a bus for hours with no music no podcasts no nothing except my own thoughts. OH GOD NO NOT MY OWN THOUGHTS.

I arrived there around 8pm and checked into my hotel, ready to eat my own face. At the hotel, the doormen all wore full on Alice in Wonderland style Beefeater outfits. I mean, God Bless them, every one, is all I have to say about that. Also, when I was getting all checked in and stuff, the checker-inner guy listed off the hotel amenities and the list went something like this: “Your room will be on the 10th floor. We provide bathrobes, a french press coffee maker, elevators, and a full mini-bar.” ELEVATORS, people. I am pretty sure he said elevators.

My friend and roomie for the evening @librarianista and I wandered around and ate at a hipster Portland restaurant (there was a taxidermy head of a bear on the wall, wearing a top hat and a monocle, which I believe is the international hipster mascot) which was so delicious it almost killed us both. We had a good night’s sleep, made use of the french press coffee pot, watched Three’s Company, and extra-appreciated those elevators.

My talk/presentation/jabber was the next morning and it was good. I know that standing up in front of people and talking is like, a thing that makes people have more anxiety than the thought of death (is that apocryphal? do people really fear it that bad?), but it is not an activity that makes me nervous. I do not know why. Maybe it is because the first time I was on stage with hundreds of people staring at me was when I was like, four. Or maybe it’s because I was a child who was put through the audition wringer and after you have been scrutinized like that you just don’t feel nervous anymore. Maybe it is because in my current job I have to talk to groups of people every single day. Talking in front of folks just doesn’t put me in a tizzy, and for this I am truly thankful because that would make my job really hard.

Just in case you think I am too good to have tizzies, Ima list things that do make me nervous.

Heights. This is a new one for me. I think it’s a sign of getting old. Gramma is afraid of falling, y’all.

If my dude is late coming home or meeting me. I can go to a very OH MY GOD HE IS LATE AND THEREFORE DEAD place. High stakes punctuality.

Clowns. SELF EXPLANATORY.

North and South

I am taking trips faster than I can write about them, fellas. I knew something was up when I started looking forward to getting on a plane because that was a few hours of guaranteed quiet and sleep. Who looks forward to sitting in a sardine can for hours? I do. Bring it, upright, open-mouthed sleeping slumped next to strangers! Pass the Calgone!

Two more trips to tell you about. Ready? Ok.

I went on my very! first! ever! trip to the state of Texas. San Antonio to be exact. I looked for Tim Riggins and Six everywhere I went but no dice. I did try to make my hair as Tami Tayloresque as it could possibly go (to dreammmmm the impossible dreammmmmmm). I did not make it over to the Alamo which was disappointing but did not stop me one bit from saying all the Jan Hooks parts from Peewee’s Big Adventure to my traveling companions even though they didn’t know what I was doing because I. am a DELIGHT. I did the River Walk thingamabobber and I ate some fricking delicious Mexican food that most definitely did not have New York City salsa on it (NEW YORK CITY?? GET A ROPE. I just have to). Oh, and the hot weather. LOVE YOU HOT WEATHA.

Then last week I got on another plane/upright napping pod to visit my dear sweet mama in Michigan. We were there for a week and that lady put us to work. We fixed stuff, did yard work, winterized the house, cleaned out the garage. I still find it hard to be there without my dad, which makes me sad on a couple of levels because I used to love being there so much and now it’s more difficult than it is enjoyable, but keeping busy and focusing on what my mom needs makes it feel ok. I got to see my pals Alli and Chris and Steph who all happened to be in town that weekend, and catch up with my favorite cousin of all times for a quick second too. My mom watched a Harry Potter movie with us for her very first time and provided fresh and insightful commentary (on Snape: “What is wrong with that guy? I think maybe it’s his hair.”) and I was introduced to Tiny House Hunters on HGTV. Michigan was in full October gorgeousness the entire time.

Now: back in Seattle, it hasn’t stopped raining since we got back, my dude is sick, and there are many, many hours of work to catch up on. Two more trips coming up in November. Deep breaths, me. Deep breaths.

Blew Through the Windy City

 I went on a hectic dash around the country a couple of weeks ago and neglected to tell you about it because there is mad shame in my blog game these days. It is all but a hazy memory by now but I’ll try to catch you up.

First stop: Chicago

  • The early fall warmth of a midwest autumn (and resultant doubling in size of my hairdo) combined with hanging with Alli, my friend since I was 4, and her dude Chris, my pal in his own right, always the best.
  • We went to the Art Institute, an oldie but goodie in my life, and proceeded to wander around in 100 different directions yet still somehow always end up in the middle of the ancient Greek pottery. Of all the arts to lay eyeballs on, I think that looking at what cups people were drinking their Hellenic era hooch out of is probably one of my least faves, yet at the Institute, all roads lead back to carafes from BC times.
  • More art was seen at a big street art fair in Wicker Park. We walked around, it was hot as snot, the art was awesome.
  • As always happens when I am at Alli’s and Chris’ house, I am exposed to more sportsball in one weekend than I am the entire rest of the year just by watching tv with them. This time I learned that baseball games last hundreds of years. I think I saw people in the stands drinking out of Hellenic vessels.
  • Do not let Alli make you her gin and tonic right before taking you out to eat a meal with people you have not met before unless you want to be stone cold drunk when you meet them for the first time.

Chicago done. Next up, Madison.