Friday, January 06, 2006

2005 Playback: Summer (Minus The Beach House)

I am beginning to wonder why I began this project. I don't believe in looking back - or atleast for 2006 that is what I believe. I am bunching all the summer months together because they go together like the Miller Lite and the coosi (seriously, how do you spell that word?). Then I am on to some other things. Because guess what I believe in 2006? Resolutions. This is new for me. Never made one in my life. So I need to tell you about my interview with Dick Clark. Also, I found a new breed of people to hate. My (maybe, almost) future in doll-making. My dilemna of whether or not to attend a wedding in Baton Rouge. I also have some announcements - a new blog! and a congratulations! And something about Peter Pan. Hopefully there will be no boo hooing going on.

But this was a great summer - memories I will have forever, until senility takes over and I'm rolling down my stockings and putting my lipstick on my eyelids. I am breaking the summer into two parts: the Me part and the beachhouse part so I can let the inside jokes fly and bound a copy for Destiny's Child. But first...

The Wedding Incident

Let's start with the "bad". (You know, it's all relative.) And it goes a little something like this..."Love me two times, babe. Once for tomorrow. Once just for today..." Or: "I just got dumped - via email - by a guy who - emphatically (as in no hesitation with the yes) - agreed to go with me [to a wedding]...And now I have to tell everyone that, well, he stood me up. And then you get those words of sympathy "Oh, sorry. He doesn't deserve you. Better you found out now what he is like. You will have fun anyway. Borrow my husband." Thanks. Yes. Yes. Yes. And, uh, no."

Ta da!

Nonetheless, I was in the wedding so obviously had plenty to keep me busy over the weekend. This was the wedding of Marrieds. Except a few girlfriends that I knew. So a gaggle of Single Girls to fight over a bouquet or run from it, which has become the modern day equivalent. ("Am passive. Am independent. See I don't care about a fucking flower. Hey, cute boy, will you send me flowers? Thus, Land of Mixed Signals.") So I cried for like 2 seconds, which is how I usually operate.

But the wedding was lovely and I ended up have a fabulous time. I danced naked on a hotel rooftop with an out of town guest - who was the ONLY single guy in attendance. And he was cute! And we had a lot of fun. And I knew I would never see him again. And, for once, I was fine with that. My, the racy life I sometimes lead. (If only.)

Family Playtime

Every year around the 4th of July which is about the anniversary of my dad's death my mom comes to visit. (My dad is buried in DC.) And it is the only time I can get her up here. She is still not used to traveling on her own. And, really, seeing her drive on the highway, the intense concentration (which, kids at home, I'm not saying you shouldn't concetrate) is like seeing Michael Jackson country line dance. Something is just not right. I mean, he can do it because he is a good dancer but something just doesn't look right about it. Maybe its the hat...but I digress as usual....So this year, she brought my lovely niece who is 7 (six at the time) but really going on 15. I kid you not. But she loves me so. I know because she writes me love notes. When I am there she passes me notes. And when I am not, she sends them in the mail. She says she loves her Ya Ya. And I love, love, love her. So I had a nice visit with them this summer. We went to a baseball game wherein Ticketgate 2005 happened. (By the way, he has still not cashed the check.) We went to the zoo and got to see the pandas - before Baby was born.

Then my family all got together for a week at the beach. It was my momma's 60th birthday. I didn't really write about the visit - so no links. But I can't believe I didn't write about the All White Picture. Well, let me push my story-telling bifocals up my nose and draw you a picture...

The White Picture

So my mom's life long dream was to - be an actress? - nope, to have one of those family portraits taken where everyone wears all white shirts and then you can choose denim bottoms or khaki bottoms. Oh my, the debate on The What To Wear On The Bottom that ensued from this. We finally settled on khaki bottoms. Then my mom got upset with me because in a "glaring Act of Rebellion" - I stubbornly whittled my way into a little flowy white skirt - all gauzy and pretty in its white puffery - BUT I methodically chose a khaki belt to tie it all together. So I felt I was complying with the Khaki Rule. Except, Momma didn't see it this way. In hindsight, I guess I was bratty - this was her picture, her dream.

So, yeah, the family is all dressed in their White Picture Taking Duds and we are to meet the photog at the studio. Except a mix-up - the first in many to come. He's not there. The 14-year old son says, "He's off on a shoot." While he is shoving a sanwich in his face.

"Yeah, but we have an appointment." Disappointment overpowering my mom's face.

Son shrugs, "I'll take you to him. Who's car should I get in?"

So we embarked on a road trip with some random 14 year old boy claiming to be a Son of a Photographer. (I think there is a song.) Anyway, we plot our way down the beach to the picture locations, locate the Double-Booked Photographer who shoos us down the beach to another location. Meanwhile the sun is setting. And all is not quiet on the Home Front.

He has us park at a park. Profound! (I like that as a Title actually.) And we cross 6 lanes of U.S. 1 boulevard traffic with a 2- 4- and 6-year old. All dressed the same in our white and khaki combos (and the errant all white dressed middle child). We walk through dunes of sand with prickly foot greeters everywhere and, oh yeah, coyote, or something. At the end of the day, by the time we get to the Picture Spot we had walked a mile. Practically in a cactus patch, is my point. And so, at the spot, lo and behold, what do we have here? Dopppelganger. Because there was a whole other family in their khaki + white combo. Original Family meet Original Family #2. Yeah, except they didn't have anyone in All White With A Khaki Belt.

But the real annoying part of this whole day was now that we have been through this whole ordeal over the last hour or so we now had to wait as the sun sagged ever more downhill - like my smile. So the grump. But this is my mom's life-long dream so "Smile and Say Cheese!" Which finally happened as it was our turn and the thing that brought me back to life was the fact that these photographers were going to have to make little Val, the 2-year old get his pacifier out of his mouth and make that little pie-face smile. Lord they brought out all the stops. Clown faces. Horns. Stuffed animals. The Grown-Up-Make-The-Kid-Laugh-I-Can't-Dance Dance. Which always make me laugh. The laughing at you not with you kind. Because impressions are not peachy right now.

And then my hate continued to grow when they placed us in our spots where we would forever be recorded in a glossy 20x16 Dream Picture of my momma's choosing.

Photographer: "Let's see. Mom you are the center of this family, you go in Now First Daughter you sit next to mom. Put your husband behind you. And little girl on your lap. Now, Daughter-In-Law, you sit on the other side of mom. Put your husband behind you and daughter on your lap. And grandma why don't you hold grandson."

Grandson: "Mean man. Where's Bear? And don't you dare take this pacifier out of my mouth. I will bite you."

Photographer: "Now, what to do with the other daughter. Yeah, just sit next to daughter-in-law."

So what we had was an assymetrical photo with empty space behind my mom, two pillars of family on either side of her, and then a big blob by the looks of Me to one side. Literally, I think some of my feet are chopped off in the final picture. I literally look like an afterthought, the fuck-up kid in the all-white with no family of my own, just keep pushing her off the side. "There once was this daughter...." So I can ramble and I kid but my point is the picture, I didn't feel to be aesthetically pleasing considering the price and, oh yeah, did I mention that the jackass photographer let the other family - the one before us - lollygag and frollick on the beach in the background to Our picture. Naturally he airbrushes them out, but all the proofs which are my mom's property have little white & khaki people in the background. "Hey, we are all just one big happy family!" We should have borrowed a khaki + white fella to be a stand-in to even out our photo. Inst-family = insta-photo symmetry. Then maybe my feet can make it in the picture.

Yeah, so that is the White Picture. The important part of which is, in the end and a couple thousand dollars later, my mom was pleased. She got her White Picture.

The Pants Incident

Marlene is one of my very bestest friends. I have known her since high school. Junior or senior year, I can't remember. We met in Art Class and she had me at "Cindy Crawford has aids."

Do I need to explain that? Because of course Cindy doesn't have aids. And I don't want to spread any rumours to the contrary. It's a figure of speech. Our own figure. The story goes something like this...This first time we hung out, we were out with a few other girls on a Friday night, looking for boys, probably drinking Mad Dog and Big Gulps, and subsequently getting drunk off three sips or something like that. Because from what I remember we were walking around this park (is that Where the Boys Are - I mean, we live like 5 miles from the beach, isn't that Where The Boys Are?). Anyway, we both had to go to the bathroom and we both confided that we both have weak bladders as in DO-NOT-make-me-laugh under NO circumstance whatsoever because bladder control will escape me on this here Friday night and oh, are there boys over there. So this is the worst thing - which is trying NOT to laugh, when all you can do is laugh. So we are on the ground now, crossing our legs, tears streaming down our faces (and thankfully, not from anywhere else). Then Mar juts up and very seriously and calmly says, "Wait! I have something very serious to say and this will stop the laughing." The giggling stops. Because she does sound serious. "I heard that Cindy Crawford has aids." That did it, a friendship was born. No, we didn't pee our pants that night. But we did in a Wal-Mart all because Marlene said, "Is that Johnnie Oakley." Which, we laugh about to this day, because what is SO funny about that. At the time, it probably had great significance on the Laugh Meter. Obviously. "Hi my name is Lara and I'd like to do a Depends commercial!" Seriously, it hasn't happened since (if you must know). So no Pee-ers Anonymous for us.

Anyway, that is Marlene, that crazy girl, and I went to Chicago to visit her this summer. Our task at hand was shopping and Lollapalooza. Where we got interviewed (by who, I'm not really sure but it was a big production, it looked official, they didn't ask us to take our shirts off).

"And so I am never one to let those inside jokes die. I'll find any opportunity to try it out. Even in the company of.....cameras!....And so after a hair, makeup, and sound check, we were seated in directors' chairs, legs crossed, lip-glossed, and microphone commanding. We were ready to answer some real hardcore questions. Of which we had the serious answers to....Now I am back in DC, settling back into routine. But somebody, please, for the love of Perry, please turn on the AC (100 degress?).....or I may have to take off these pants."

Yeah, so the "pants" - you can read the background of that and our interview - if you so desire - here. All because some kid asked if someone was gay because of his purple tight pants. We found this hilarious. Teach the kid that, no that is wrong? Break down the stereotype. Hell no, make a joke about it. All weekend long. And on camera too. And when we went shopping and came home, the boys asked, "did you by pants?" When the sales people asked if we needed help. "do you have anything in a pant?" Waste not want not. The joke was not lost.

The Year of the Vacuum

Just had to say that as an fyi like it's nobody's business, I bought 2 vacuums this year. Seriously, it is like they are disposable razors. This isn't working anymore, throw it out, and start anew.

"In the end, the splurge on The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap ended up costing me a vacuum and not the unifying scented soaps, or the economy jug, or the "in season" scents the clerk was pusing. Nope. A vacuum. Or, that is how I rationalized it in my head. That clerk had some all-mighty powers that transcended my "shopping scents." Damn. He's good."

And finally,

The Drunk Dialing Escapade Disguised as the Pants Hemming Project (either way you look at it)

Not much more to say about this that hasn't been said before. But it is never a dull moment with Mav. Needless to say, "Last night, Mav and I discovered that sleeping in your clothes is not just for the beach house anymore. Neither is drunk dialing."

We may have gotten into trouble with the drunk dialing one other time - but that was at the beach and will have to be filed under my next post...

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