Monday, October 22, 2012

This Post Is Not About Snot. Mostly.

It's quite possible I may be the most poorly named individual in the Western Hemisphere.  I was born bouncing face down on the front seat of a snot green Gremlin during the mad race to the hospital while the first rays of dawn were making their daily appearance. 

Is it any surprise I'm not particularly fond of anything happening before the sun has even bothered to get up?  Or that I hate all things snot related?  Why, just the other night, while brushing my teeth, I spit into the sink.  The consistency of my spit was very mucus-like which caused me to start gagging.  I gagged so hard I ended up puking my dinner into the sink.  Ever tried picking regurgitated lettuce out of your sink stopper?  I did not enjoy it.

So yeah, Dawn.  At least they didn't name me snot.

I'm getting off track again.  Carrie over at The Slow-Dripped Life has asked question #3 for her amazing give-away.  When I decided to participate in this, I failed to think it through.  I post maybe once or twice a month, when I'm feeling motivated.  Her contest requires that I answer a question she posts every week for, what is it, 8 weeks?  Holy crap.  This just may be my undoing.  I struggle just trying to keep up with my favorite blogs, never mind actually post something of my own.  *sigh*  I'm already tired.  Nevertheless, this week she asked "Where do you find yourself most centered, most connected to life and your most true self?"

Erik and I go camping.  A lot.  Last month he took me to the Grand Canyon for the second time.  I was a little hesitant considering what we came home to last Labor Day at the Grand Canyon.  Our home had been burglarized while we were away.  They busted in the doggy door and cleaned us out.  All of Erik's photography equipment and scanner.  Every last piece of jewelry I owned, including a silver cuff bracelet from my Gram who had recently passed away.  They stole my half used Victoria's Secret lotion (really?  It's only $9. Get your own) but by far the most heinous offense?  They stole Erik's very favorite beer right out of the fridge.  What kind of monsters steal your BEER?  I'll tell you what kind.  The stupid kind.  They left Erik's road bike ($4,500) and my laptop that's less than a year old.  See?  Stupid.

Even more stupid?  Going for a hike in jeans, wool socks and a long sleeve shirt.  
Yeah, that's boob sweat.  And I'm pretty happy about it. 

And while I think hanging out on the precipice of a crumbly rock with bumbling tourists stumbling around behind you is also incredibly stupid, it did make for some amazing photos.

I'm not biased, he's just that good.
This was Cape Royal at Sunset.  Which is not in the morning.  Which brings me back to Dawn.  Or rather, the opposite of.  With all the griping and complaining I do when Erik drags me off into the wilderness, I love it.  Well, to be more specific, I love the part of camping when we're both sitting by the fire, vino in hand, head tilted back staring at the stars. 

My problems are put back into perspective, my shoulders relax back to their intended position, and my sighs become sighs of contentment rather than frustration.

Not the Grand Canyon.  Obviously.  One of his trips to Monument Valley.

I can't exactly describe what it is.  It's just a feeling.  I find serenity in the darkness accented by the stars.  It's a rare moment of calm that I haven't found anywhere else.  And I cherish it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Don't Really Want You To Read This. I'm Just Following The Rules.

Ugh!  I don't even wanna tell you guys about this because it's such an amazing giveaway.  Unfortunately, spreading the word is part of the rules and if I'm known for anything, it's being a stickler for rules.  Although, every now and then, I do like to cut loose and go a little crazy. 

Why, just the other night, I ran with scissors!  And then used those very same scissors to cut the tag off my mattress.  Which is totally illegal you guys!

But enough about what a bad ass I am and back to the matter at hand.  Carrie, over at The Slow-Dripped Life, is giving away a trip.  Yep.  The Great Get-Away Give-Away.  And Pickleope, if you're reading this, if I win this one, I'm keeping it.  You're amazing but I live in Utah for hells sake.  I gotta escape every chance I get! 

Just click on the link to check out the rules and while she doesn't require it, you should go ahead and follow her while you're at it.

I missed the first week's question because I was out of town.  For my birthday.  With one of my best friend's Kelly.  At Disneyland.  Yeah.  Two grown women went to Disneyland together.  Which nicely segues into Carrie's question for this week.  What is one of your most favorite travel memories or trips?

I had a blast this last weekend in California.  We made the 10 hour drive down and stayed in Mission Viejo.  We had some interesting conversations during that drive.  90% of which can not be repeated on this blog.  Something you should know about Kelly.  She is also a bad ass.  She's 6'0 and has had the lap band surgery to help with her life long struggle with weight loss.  She has been diligent with her food intake and meetings with her trainer.  She's been working SO hard and has so far lost 120 pounds.  Every day is a new struggle for her and she's admitted that she is addicted to food the way others are addicted to drugs. 

I had just eaten a handful of pretzels from a bag I'd just purchased and tossed the leftovers into the back.  In trying to explain her addiction she said,

"I would give anything right now to finish off that bag of pretzels.  I would blow you to get to those pretzels."

I pointed out the problematic fact that I was lacking a penis.

She countered, "If you HAD a penis, looked like a penis, if you were one giant mobile penis, I would blow you to get to those pretzels." 

This was not my most favorite travel memory. 

But this one is pretty close:

 Kay, not really.  Just evidence that Kelly is an asshole.  Which is why she's one of my favorite people.

THIS however, really will be one of my favorite travel memories.  Kelly hadn't gone on a roller coaster since she was in junior high because of her size.  She decided she was willing to risk personal embarrassment and possible humiliation and hope she could fit in The Screamer.  I promised her if the harness wouldn't fit, I would fake a seizure while throwing up on myself.  Happily, for all involved, there was no need.  For her first roller coaster in a long time, we got the front seat and screamed our throats raw.  And THAT really will be one of my favorite travel memories forever. 

Love the dude yawning behind us.  Whatev's.  It was terrifying.

And while that was awesome, it was nothing compared to the terror we faced on Splash Mountain.  And by "we" I mean me.

Shit just got real on Splash Mountain. 

And this is random but I had no recollection that they sold turkey legs at Disney.  Is this a new thing?  I hadn't been here since '95 and I do not recall this atrocity.  Kelly was very excited to get her required grams of protein in while I tried to keep my dry-heaving to a minimum. 

I can't honestly be the only person who thinks this is revolting, can I?

It was a great trip and I remembered how much I loved all things Disney.  The one and only complaint I have about the place?  All the damn children.  They were EVERYWHERE!  No matter where we turned, children!  And some were even crying.  Ugh.  Like I wanna deal with THAT at the happiest place on earth.

Oh the anguish of having to wait for your turn on the teacups!

All in all it was a fantastic birthday weekend.  I rekindled my love affair with the beach, went to an Irish Pub for cheese-steak and wine (What? They totally go together) and had my tarot cards read by an 800 year old Bulgarian psychic.

I may be old, but life is good. 

I didn't even break anything!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Is There A Way To Block Your Mother From Reading Your Blog?

I went to a wedding in Washington this past June.  Erik's cousin was getting married so he asked me to go with him and meet all of his family that I hadn't yet.  Both of his parents live in Pennsylvania and they were the only family I'd met.  He's got a schload of family.  Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and his sister were all going.  I promised him I wouldn't embarrass him

That was a promise I was not able to keep.

I flew into Seattle where Erik picked me up and we headed to Anacortes where the bride and groom were living.  Before we were even out of the car his Mom and Sister were out the front door to greet us with giant bear hugs.  His Sister was sarcastic, witty and drank before 5pm.  I liked her immediately.

The house was bursting at the seams with his family and people I didn't know.  I was overwhelmed at times and a little claustrophobic.  I will admit that I had to bail for awhile and hid out in the truck for about 30 min's before I was retrieved to ask what kind of wine his Sister should get for me at the store.

She returned with a six pack of wine.  I never knew such things could exist.  I was now thoroughly in love.

The next day we took the ferry to Friday Harbor and made our way to the cabin we would be staying at on Roche Harbor for the next couple of nights.

I'd forgotten how much I missed living near an ocean.

The $400/night "cabin" we had to rough it in.

 Roche Harbor was absolutely beautiful.  I grew up in a little place on Lake Ontario called Port Dalhousie and this place made me feel like I was back there as a little girl.  Only now I had boobs.  A boyfriend.  And I could drink.  Other than that, exactly the same.

The first night there was a pre-wedding party down on the beach.  It was quite a distance from the harbor and our cabins.  They had white tents and heat lamps set up.  Catered food and an open bar complete with a nice young chap who would pour you as many glasses of wine as you desired.  Also on site for your bowel evacuation needs?  A Honey Bucket.  Also known as a port-o-potty.  I made it clear at the beginning I would NOT be stepping foot inside of that atrocity.  Trying to disguise it's revolting purpose by naming it something sweet and inviting wasn't going to work in luring me in.  I would simply hold it until we got back.  I was taking a stand.

Taking a stand is easy to do when you're not 4 glasses of vino into the evening.  

By now it's dark and everyone is milling around the random heat lamps and huddling next to the fire pit.  My bladder and my mind are at war with each other when I hear one of his cousins mention she has to pee.  I pounce like a fat chick on an eclair and convince her to take a stroll with me in the woods where refined  ladies do their peeing.  Not in the poorly named Honey Bucket of disgrace.

She'd just met me the day before so in her defense she didn't know any better when she agreed.  With arms linked we skip off into the woods and head up a hill.  She goes to one side, I go to the other.  I drop trou and breathe a sigh of relief as a torrent of recycled wine waters the forest floor.  I reach down to pull up my undies when, wait.  What's this?  Where the hell are my underwear?  I look down and realize in my inebriated rush, I somehow forgot to pull them down with my pants.

I have just pissed my underwear.  At my boyfriends family function.

Ugh!  With pants around my ankles, I waddle over to the nearest tree screeching for my pee pal, Emily, to help hold me up while I struggled out of the offending clothing.  I get them off and fling them into the darkness of night.

As we head back to the fire, I warn her, "Not a word that I'm going commando, right?".  She simply giggles in response.

The guys are standing around the fire pit holding their beers and smirking.  Erik is just looking at me and shaking his head.
Emily's husband asks, "Did you two know everyone could see you?".  He motions with his beer and I look up the hill to the spot where we just were and sure enough, it was directly in the line of vision for anyone on the beach facing the woods.
He continues, "and just what the hell were you doing up there?  Which of you was the waddler?" 
I hang my head in shame and Emily blurts out my secret which is immediately followed by howls of laughter from everyone who was within earshot.

The next day I had an odd pang of conscience and decided tossing your underwear into the forest is the equivalent of littering.  And that just wouldn't do. 

On my hike back through the harbor to the beach and then the woods, I had to pass the wedding party going through their rehearsal.  One of the groomsmen saw me, waved, and asked if I was going to buy new underwear. 

I resisted the urge to shoot him the bird and walked faster.

After scrabbling through possible poison oak, I located the urine soaked panties and shoved them in my jacket pocket. 

On my way back I ran into the Father of the Groom and one of the other girls.  They stop me to chit chat asking what I'm up to this morning.  I mumble something about having to run an errand.  She says, "Oh yeah?  And errand?" while looking at me expectantly. 

I stare at her like a demented deer caught in urine yellow headlights while I imagine the panties in my pocket soaking through my jacket, creating a giant pee stain that spreads across my entire right side. 

4 seconds of non-responsive silence. 

I finally mutter something, seriously no idea what, and take off towards the cabin wondering why in the hell I ever  promised Erik I wouldn't embarrass him.  We both should have known better.

Eventually it's time for the wedding.  We get dressed and head down.  I didn't know the venue when I packed for the trip.  I took 4" heels.  The venue included this treacherous cobblestone hill.

Which is actually way steeper than it looks.
Which goes around the properties...

Winds around the gardens...

And then to the grass where heels tend to sink and not fare too well.
 Erik chastised me for my choice in footwear as I nearly went down like a bag of dirt twice in 30 seconds.  I looked down at his feet then back at him questioningly.  He had forgotten his shoes altogether and was wearing his chacos with his suit.  A classy pair we made.

The Bride knew to wear flats.  Cheater.
Erik and his Sister (who was one of the groomsmen) deciding if my shoes would make a better beer stein or a weapon.
Erik's cousin Emily.  AKA, my pee pal.

The Bride dancing with the Best Man.  Kay, not really, he's the Groom.

Traditional North American Wedding dance.  The Groom is the one with the tie around his head.  

I honestly don't know how everyone managed to wake up in time to catch the ferry back to Anacortes the next morning.  

  In conclusion, I would like to say it was a grand time had by all and though I may have peed myself, I feel it imperative I point out that this last picture is NOT a picture of me puking into the back seat.  Thank you very much.