trippy trips

Away to Canaday

I have yet to master the fine art of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep on any sort of consistent basis for many years now. Every once in a while I sleep really well and when I wake up I feel like a freaking jillion bucks and I am pretty sure I would be president or at least have invented a flux capacitor by now with the brain power I would have had if I knew how to get some Z’s like a Normal. I may not know how to sleep very well, but I do know this: when you don’t sleep well, when the alarm goes off and you drag yourself out of the bed, yell out SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK and this will help you a little bit. So I hear. Not that I have done that.

This past weekend my gentleman-friend and I decided to make a run for the northerly border. We decided this at the last minute, and therefore I violated one of my trip-planning rules: it’s fine to be spontaneous but you should always know where you are going to sleep and you should always have eating options thought through ahead of time. The hotel I booked. The eating: no idea. This resulted in my arriving in Vancouver full on hangry as we tried to find a place to eat lunch and every place we tried had a long wait line.

So far we have covered my being bad at sleeping and bad at eating. I promise you that we will stay within the confines of these two bodily functions and not a one more.

After the Canada/US Hangry Incident of 2015, the rest of the trip was damn fine. We wandered around with absolutely no rhyme or reason. I learned two things about my dude that in all these years I never knew: he has never been to a planetarium show in his life and he has never had a Slurpie from 7-11. You would think that the Slurpie thing would be the thing to remedy first especially since OMG there are 7-11s up the Canadian ying-yang, like seriously SO MANY 7-11s, but no. I got a bee in my bonnet about the planetarium thing. WE ARE GOING TO A CANADIAN PLANETARIUM IMMEDIATELY. Which we did. I prepped him by saying that he would have a powerful urge for sleepy times in there and he agreed with my via letting out the snortiest Dad-snore in the middle of the show that you have ever heard in your life. The kind where it is so loud that it wakes up the snoring person and scares them a little bit. This made me silent-laugh so hard that I choked on my own chuckle which caused me to cough like I had consumption. So, planetarium show: NAILED IT.

We never got around to the Slurpie.

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Consumables #128 Watching: Ocean’s Eleven

A thing I did the weekend after we went to the Bellagio was come home and give Ocean’s Eleven a re-watch. Ima go out on a limb and say that movie may be my favorite Vegas-based pop culture item. I love a heist, and I love a well-dressed man, so. That’s kind of all there is in that movie, no fillers, no by products.

These are some lessons we can all take away from Danny Ocean and the gang.

1. Tuxedos always look best when the bow tie is undone.

2. “Why are you doing this? And don’t say money.” Criminals who are already hella rich do their heisting for only two reasons. For revenge against other people with money that they hate, or just to challenge their criminal skills. It’s a sort of rarified, artisanal robbery, freshly brewed from the nicest ingredients.

3. When he gets intense, Andy Garcia almost, just almost, walks like George Jefferson.

4. This is the bummer of it all for me: Julia Roberts is the only lady for miles and miles and miles, and she only gets to do girly business like pine for the Cloon-dog, adjust her earrings while looking in mirrors, descend staircases with elegance, and think about nothing except those dang menfolk. Clooney and Garcia basically find 342 ways to say “don’t you worry your pretty head about it, little lady” throughout. Julia! You do not need that shit, girlfriend.

5. A good heist is something I will always sign up for.

6. This is definitely not the Vegas I went to.

Leaving Las Vegas

Considering that the first and only other time I went to Vegas, it struck me as so unpleasantly banutters, I am happy to report that this go around was eleventy three times better. Here are my thoughts on why this time was not only bearable but enjoyable.

1. This stay clocked in at about 36 hours, which felt like a light glaze of cheeseball, as opposed to my last trip, which was more than double that and felt like a scary Hotel California You Can Never Leave situation. Lesson learned. In and out, burgers.

2. This time I stayed away from kitschy lodgings shaped like the Pyramids and went to the Bellagio. The Bellagio has natural light (whaaaat Vegas the land of perpetual indoor nighttime) and ways to walk through it without having to go into a casino. And fancy rooms, and I love a super nice hotel room, people.

3. This time it was February instead of July so it I didn’t feel like I was a chicken caught by Kenny Roger’s Roasters up in that business. Instead it was 70 degrees with a light breezy in the heezy. Coming from the cold wet sponge that is Seattle in February, this was worth a lot.

4. The last time I was in Vegas it was for work and therefore I had meetings and locations and wayfinding and punctuality concerns. Vegas is not built for clock-centric living AT ALL. The only way to be there is if you have nowhere in particular to be.

5. Drop some bucks on some high end foodstuffs. It is like Fancy Feast for non-cat humans in Vegas!

6.  We went to the Neon Museum and it was SO COOL. Go to there.

So, yes Vegas, you were working for me this time around. I never would have thought it.

Las Vegas Tribute by Barry Manilow

Fly Away

Him: I never see you no more. Let’s go somewhere for the weekend.

Me: Portland, Vancouver, the coast? All sogfests, though.

Him: Let’s go someplace warm.

Me: A last-minute plane ticket will cost one meelion dollars.

Him: There’s got to be a deal somewhere.

Me: (typey typey computer lookup) The only cheap last minute tickets are for Vegas. Vegas is warm!

Him: I thought Vegas made you queasy.

Me: Oh, it was straight icky. But I want to take you there to see if it will make you feel gross too.

Him: Is that a reason to go there? To see if it will make me feel gross?

Me: Um, heck yes.

Him: Sold.

Me: Really?

Him: Buy the tickets.

VEGAS WEEKEND BABY

Outta Sight

I just flew back in from Michigan (hi December in Seattle! I love you and your 55 degree weather smooch smooch smoooooch) and I’m feeling totally out of it. There is something about being away from my regular life that is really lovely, but also I get super disoriented when I get back, like I can’t believe that my life here still exists. Is everyone still here? Do my friends still remember me? My job is still there, right? It’s sort of like that episode of Star Trek TNG where Ro (who I like to call Ensign Headband because):

Anyway, she and Geordi don’t reappear from the transporter and no one can see them and they walk around waving at people’s faces going “hello?? Can you see me?? We’re RIGHT HERE!” Well, Geordi does that a little more than Ro because Ro almost immediately thinks they are dead, because she is the closest thing TNG had to a goth. This feeling I have probably illustrates some sort of deep seated fear that if I am out of sight I am out of mind and no one really and truly would miss me if I disappeared, which when I really and truly think about it: MAJOR BUMMER REPORTING FOR DUTY, SIR.

My trip was fast and packed to the gills with errands and chores that my mom needed doing, which is a good thing for me when I am in my hometown because there’s something so different for me now when I go there. My whole life I have loved that place like it was a part of me or my family, which I kind of think it is, and going back always felt like a piece of me was getting re-plugged into my soul socket. (Wow, I went a little Jonathan Livingston Seagull there, didn’t I). But now that my dad is gone, I get a very different feeling from being there, and I would not call it re-energizing. I used to look forward to these trips, and now I actually dread it. So keeping busy while there is key, which I did, and that’s about the best I can do. Sorry, soul socket.

On the up side, I got to spend some quality time with my cousin R who is by far one of my fave ladies ever, I got to help my mom with a bunch of stuff, and I got to bring my mom back to Seattle with me for the holidays. All worth it. Now, on to see if my life still exists. ANYONE THERE? ANYONE?

Consumables #114 Watching: Snowpiercer

I’m in Michigan for a few days and it is butt ass cold, fellas. I’d forgotten that feeling of iciness in one’s nostrils (as a child we called this “snot-sickles,”) and the literal smell of donuts in the air, which can be found early mornings outside the grocery stores. I love the idea that I grew up bathed in donut ether.

Let’s talk about Snowpiercer, a totally appropes movie for snot-sickle weather. The earth has turned into a frozen planet-sickle, and the only people who have survived live on a crazy train (cue Ozzy) that circles the earth once per year. The poor oppressed people live in the back and the cars get nicer and nicer as you go forward where the fancy people live at the front of the train because symbolism! Chris Evans (do we think he’s hot or do we think he looks like an icky country club boy named Biffy who sweeps the leg?) lives in the back of the train and stages a revolution. Caboose is on the loose! Oh, and Tilda Swinton is working some gigantic prosthetic teeth in a sort of Delores Umbridge train-marm character.

I wanted to love this, especially for the Swinton-factor, but I had a hard time not questioning the train set up (how many people are on this train? How many bathrooms are there? What if any outer parts of the train need repairs?) which is totally beside the point and I kind of hate it when other people do this about imaginative stories that aren’t completely consistent so I don’t know what was wrong with me. More than that, there was too much fighty fighty and people who you think are dead somehow surviving so that they can pop back out for more fighty fighty. If you get stabbed in the guttocks, stay dead. It just seems cheap otherwise.

Also, I won’t spoil it but I didn’t understand the very last minute. This could be my own dumbness.

So. Train. Ice age. Class war. Fighty. If you like these things, all abooooooard! (I know. I’ll go put myself in Time Out now).

Consumables #104 Watching: Begin Again

After a long stretch of time where every flight I was on insisted on playing Labor Day as the in-flight movie to the point where I thought that there was some sort of airline policy about it or that Josh Brolin had taken over the FAA just so he could force us all to stare at his Spock beard, my flight back from Chicago had a different option. This time around it was Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. I thought it was charming, although BE WARNED Adam Levine and Cee-Lo Green are in it too. What makes that ok is that Cee-Lo is only in it for like five minutes and Adam Levine is playing Adam Levine, which somehow makes it better.

Keira Knightley is Gretta, a songwriter along for the ride when her rocker boyfriend (Levine) gets a major record deal. Ruffalo is Dan, a burned out record executive who hasn’t been inspired in a very long time. Their paths cross and they strike up a friendship. Ruffalo is charming, as per usual, with his floppy hair and sad eyed smiles, and although he is playing it super schlumpy, he continues to be that movie star that you want to hold hands with as you walk around the city. Keira Knightley sings many of the songs in the movie in a sweet and simple way that fits the sweet and simple nature of the story, and the entire thing was soothing, which was perfect for me to stop feeling like an antsy sardine in my middle seat on the plane. Scenes are shot throughout New York City so you know I’m a sucker for that, and the relationship between Ruffalo and Knightley was endearing. This isn’t a soul shaker, but if you’re wanting something warm and pleasant, watch this one.

Go go Chicago

I took a trip to Chicago over the weekend that was as long as the blink of an eye. While there, I stayed with my friencess Alli and her hubs/my home fry, Chris. My other friend/fave Map drove her ass all the way from the Detroit area to see me for a less-than-24-hour period before turning around and driving all the way back. What kind of friends do I have? The loveliest. During this trip, we ate the deepest of deep dish pizzas (oh dear cheezus, that was good), we supportive-shopped with Map to find a decent pair of jeans (unsuccessfully), we froze our everloving nutsacks off (ok, maybe that was just wimpy Seattle-ite me), Chris made me cry laughing over something called “glottal scratching,” and Alli made me stay up til 2am in order to watch (oy yoy yoy) Hot Tub Time Machine because her love for the Cusack is like no other love in the land. After all of that, I pretty much felt like I had been run over by a truck, but in the last few hours of the trip I managed to squeeze in a lunch with The Maiden Metallurgist and her fam, which included possibly the two cutest little kiddos in the state of Illinois. (The fam includes two little kiddos, not the lunch. I did not eat those babies although I possibly could have). The Metallurgist family put up with my Hot Tub Time Machine hangover (you guys, that movie made me ILL, for real I was feeling green) and once again I recommend getting to know your blog friends. Or maybe the key is to get to know my blog friends.

By the time I got on the plane I felt like I was on my way to coming home sick, but so far today I have held it together. In any event, the lightning speed trip was worth it. If I do get sick though, I blame you, Cusack.

Bye, Chicago.

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Autumn in New York

I went to New York for a quick weekend trip and that city, as per usual, treated me so fine. It was the kind of trip where I was feeling nostalgic for it, even while it was happening. I’m going to bottle it and visit it on bad days.

I did absolutely no pre-trip-planning, so I arrived at my hotel Friday evening with one hour to try to whip up something to do. I dropped my stuff off and ran back out the door, stopping at the Shake Shack for some fries before hopping over to Lincoln Center, hoping that New York City Ballet would not be sold out. I made it in just the nick of time- my butt was lowering into my seat right as the lights went down. The downside of the performance was that I was sitting next to a snooty lady who wanted to make her ballet knowledge known to everyone around her, like a Frasierette Crane, but other than that, seeing some Balanchine/Stravinsky realness was delectable. I walked part way back to my hotel that night, in a sort of dreamy mood.

The next day after a luxurious lie in (black out curtains tis of thee, sweet napping all for me) I went out and found a french bakery to sip tea, read a book, and watch people go by. Then I walked around in the rain and just felt the gorgeousness of the city and some quietness in my head, which was sorely needed, both. Midday I met up with the magnificent Maddie, one of the very first blog friends that turned into a real friend in my life, lo these five or six years ago now. We hoofed it over to Bubby’s for a bite to eat, and then we hightailed it to Midtown to meet up with other friends for a drink or two or three and then on to Koreatown for karaoke. So fun, so laughy, and the singing went down to epic town. And then Maddie and I rode the rails back to the hotel. We rolled out of the hotel at noon the next day and walked the shit out of the lower west side, talking all the way. We ate breakfast at a cute little Cuban place with sky blue paint on the walls, went through the Financial District, TriBeCa, West Village, Soho, Chelsea, walked the Highline, gabbing gabbing gabbing.

We made a stop at the hotel at the end of the day to give our tootsies a rest, where we heckle-watched Battleship (so so bad, people) and Maddie lost her Taylor Kitsch lady boner, maybe for good. We ventured out for dinner at 9 or 10 which we capped off with a piece of birthday cake for me, and parted ways close to midnight. I made my way home Monday, my feet sore, my throat hoarse, and my core lighter. There’s a special thing that happens when you have a pal that feels like you’ll never run out of things to tell each other, and Maddie is that special sort who I could listen to all day long and tell my secrets to. She’s a rare find, that one.

New York and Maddie, y’all. Best. Fact.

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Sails Associate

The things I know about boating are not a lot. Sure, I was once a boating professional (I worked at a stinky canoe rental facility where patrons often got tipsy, both in the boozy Suzy sense as well as the flipsy into the water sense, and part of my job was to ride out into the lake on a decrepit motor boat and rescue people. It was low-rent Baywatch), but that did not really teach me much about boating. Narrow down the nautical category to sailing, and I know even less. I know it is something that the Kennedys did, which made their already fluffy hair look even more perfectly fluffy. I know that Tommy Hilfiger wants to sell all of us that fluffy hair feeling with his clothings. I know Rachel yelled at Joey about sailing and made it super not fun. I know Robert Redford in All is Lost had day after day of crushing tedium and disappointment because of sailing. I am just saying that if what I have seen in the brochure of pop culture about sailing is true, then I am not all about sailing.

BUT!

I have discovered the secret of sailing! The secret of sailing is: you have a pal that loves sailing! You do not need to know why. All you need to know is that they love it, and are really good at it, and THEY INVITE YOU TO WITNESS THE SAILING. And then, oh my lordy drinking a forty, SAILING IS THE BOMB.

Last night, Nordic Boy and I were invited to tool around on Lake Washington by our lovely pal on her sailboat. It was 80 degrees, the sky was blue, the water was sparkly, the mountains were out. OMG. It was heaven. We sailed across the water to the side of the lake where all the fancy people live (Hi, Bill Gates), we ate sandwiches, we chatted, we laughed about stuff. It was so fun. SOOOOOOOO FUN. Sailing! Who knew Christopher Cross could be so right about something?

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