That was me last night, only instead of that hand smashed up against the window, picture my face.
Now, red eye flights aren't bad, really they aren't. Time sort of gets suspended in the ink of night, moves faster, and there's this weird sort of blending of the two days together. For instance, when I got home it still felt like I hadn't crossed the imaginary dateline into February 24th.
But, oh the humility!
I sat in the emergency row for more leg room, and it worked out well because there was an empty seat between me and my row mate. But what I didn't account for -- had no way of knowing, in fact -- is that like the last row, the seatback is pretty much locked into upright position. Why, I'll never know. You'd think it'd provide more space for passengers to leap onto the wing to their deaths, I mean, safety. But I'm not an airline design engineer.
The other thing they don't tell you in the massive contract you have to sign in order to even occupy that seat, is that your arm rest will consist of this little blob of plastic positioned perfectly on the fuselage to dig into your kidney if you try to lean on it to sleep.
Still another thing they don't tell you is that the armrest isn't big enough for any non-mutant arm that I've ever seen. So it's impossible to actually use it to rest your arm and prop your head on the kitchen sponge, I mean pillow, they give you.
And yet another thing they neglected to mention is that unless you're anorexic, or on your way home from a death camp or something, there won't be enough room to wedge your body between the tiny armrest and seatback, thus moving it out of range of your kidney.
But other than those things, and the man two rows back coughing up mucus all night, and the guy one row up sneezing non-stop, I had a good flight.
Until reaching the skating rink, I mean parking lot, and finding five inches of ice on my car...
The time has come for our annual girl's fiesta in Seattle! Below, I've reposted some of our adventures from last year, to entertain you until I get back.
Think we can top those good times this year? I'll let you know...
Riding in Cars with Boy Toys, Seattle '07:
So, I'm back. I always love going to Seattle, but hate to leave. What can I say, the city, its people, the light, the energy and all the wonderful old folks I know there are such a rich part of my life.
Take Harry, for instance. Eighty-nine years old, he's Ginny's boy toy. Ginny is eighty-seven, and one of my mother's dearest friends. Harry was an engineer for Boeing. He started there in 1964, just in time to work on "thrust" issues for the majestic Saturn V rocket of Apollo and Out of This World fame. In order to get Saturn V out of this world, Harry had to figure out how many pounds of thrust (2 million? Harry wasn't sure. Neither was I) were needed to push against air (which becomes a solid surface) and for how long. He told me that after 50,000 feet, the rocket could basically "coast" into outer space. I nodded like I understood.
Then there's Bill, my mother's eighty-nine year-old boy toy. He was my navigator for the week as I ferried us around in our mini-van rental. Here's how most of our rides went:
Bill: Stay in the left lane. No not that left lane. The center left lane.
Me: This one?
Me: The right lane?
Bill: No. This lane. This lane.
Me: So I'm turning left.
Bill: No, you're turning right. Right!
Mom: Watch out for pedestrians!
Me: Where's the pedestrian?
Mom: There wasn't one. But you have to watch out for them.
Bill: Right lane! Right lane! Oh God. NO!
Mom: Pedestrians have the right-of-way.
Me: There's a car in the right lane. I couldn't get over.
Bill: Oh God.
Mom: Well, all she has to do is turn left at the next light.
Bill: That's true.
Me: So I make the next left?
Bill: No. No! The street turns one-way at the bottom of the hill. We need to go right on Harrison.
Mom: Queen Anne is only one-way.
Me: But it was two ways a block ago.
Mom: I know.
Minutes tick by...
Bill: This should be Broad St. Is it Broad Street?
Me: Yes. It's Broad Street.
Bill: Make a right on Wall St. It should be two streets up.
We sail past Wall St.
Bill: Ok. Make a right here, another right, and go back to Wall St. Then make a left on Elliot and a right onto the Viaduct.
Mom: She can also make a right here, another right, a left on Western which turns into Elliot and then a right on the Viaduct.
Me: Can you just give me one direction at a time?
Bill: Get over to the right. To the right! Noooooo. Stay left. Oh God.
I still don't know how to get anywhere. Did I mention I have right/left dyslexia? By day-two I was humming the Three Stooges theme wherever we went. Bill mentioned that between him and my mother, they only had one good eye. "Yes," I added. "And two big mouths."
By contrast, and perhaps to prove that sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree, Bill's son John took a turn navigating and spoke to me in such soothing, positive tones I felt like a frightened wild animal he was trying to coaxe into friendship. Or a trap--John can be that way sometimes.
In a couple of days, FabDame should get some pics to me *hint hint* and ya'll can see what mischief a passel of octogenarian, drunken boy toys can get into. After that, a reunion with George: Mythical Family Figure and Procurer of Advertising Displays.
Girl friends 4-Evah! Naomi and Mom sharing a seat. They've been friends for fifty years! Why, it's George--the man, the myth, the legend! (first on the left) The only person we've ever known with the chutzpah to weedle paper palm tree displays out of the grocery store and into what was the coolest teenaged boy's room in the history of the free world. He also introduced us to Huckleberries and slugs. Gotta love George! Mom's and daughters! Mom, with me and FabDame behind; Naomi, with her beeootiful daughter Chris; and Ginny with her glamorous Pam! My editor if I miss this deadline? A metaphor for all the times I failed to clean my room? Nah. Just me and Momster at the Asian market. Tomorrow: Ann and her Boy Toys!
From L to R:
Harry, my rocket scientist, clutching the most bodacious badonkadonk he's had since the space race (with the exception of Ginny's). Enjoy it now, my friend. It's not likely to be this firm next year.
Bill, oh Bill! If only I'd met you first...
Doug, get with the program. You missed all the touchy-feely way in the back there. Although, anyone see where his other hand is? Maybe Bill knows.
Jerry, you only got a leg cuz I just met you. I'm kinda shy that way. Here's to next year!
*I'm not sure but I think EC said something about this pic being in the Cavemen calendar, 2008...
When I was eight years old, I wrote my first story.
It was summertime, and like all summers past and future, we were spending it with my grandmother in Clovis. A tiny town on the High Plains of eastern New Mexico, Clovis was a kid's paradise -- plenty of alleys in which to find scraps of carpet, broken furniture, horned toads, discarded coffin boxes...
If you haven't heard about those already, go read the bio on my website. I'll wait.
Plus a whole town to explore over and over.
This particular summer, the family pets had come with us, Missy The Siamese Cat, and Brownie The Hybrid Chihuahua.
Brownie was getting old enough to smell a little. And it was hot out back in the garage my grandparents had turned into The Apartment, where we slept. As a result, no one wanted Brownie, that needy little thing, to hop into bed with them.
After some back and forth, and shuffling the poor unwanted girl from one of the two rooms to the other, my mother shooed her into Jane's and my section of the apartment, laughing: "The dog without a country!"
Showing my true colors at eight, at last, I rallied with: "The bitch without a bed!"
I really didn't understand exactly why the adults howled so loudly and repeated my declaration to everyone who stopped at the house for the rest of the summer, but I knew some magical threshhold in my life had been crossed. So of course, I wrote a story about it.
What goes around comes around.
This week, as I've researched endlessly, and shopped -- endlessly -- for a new bed for my new apartment, I've been thinking about my very first story.
What was your first story about? Was it one you wrote, or one you read?
So at the coffee shop the other night, DIP brought me my second Cafe Mocha of the evening and set it by my computer while I wrote. It sat there a while, ignored, forgotten, until I took a break and took off the lid to insert a straw. Much to my surprise and dismay the cup was half empty -- and I'm usually a half-full kinda gal!
I looked at it, shook it, but no cafe mocha magically welled to the brim, so I got up and approached the barista.
This was my first mistake.
A dark haired girl who had previously told DIP and I how cute we were together, she glanced at the cup, at me, at the cup, at me and said, "Yes?"
I said, "It's kind of empty."
"No it's not."
We both stared at the cup.
I said, "I haven't taken a sip yet."
She said, "So?"
I said, "It's only half full."
She said, "It wasn't that way when I gave it to you."
I said, "I'm sure it wasn't, but now it is."
We stared at each other. But by now, disbelief is settling in. I feel like Bob Newhart.
I said, "I'm not saying it wasn't full. But now it isn't and I'd like it to be full."
Without a word she grabbed my cup, dumped some leftover foam into it, slapped on a new lid and shoved it across the counter.
I carried it back to the table. DIP looked up from his computer and said, "You realize we're not cute anymore."
Yeah, I sort of got that.
He sighed. "We can't ever come back here."
Then last night at the Thai place -- where DIP had a reservation, btw -- the water buffalo, er, hostess saw us, pointed to a table and said, "Over there."
DIP said, "Do you have anything away from the door?"
Another Bob Newhart moment.
I said, "It's all right, I'm cool with it. There's a radiator nearby."
We sat down and the hostess brought us our menus. She said, "There's a radiator nearby."
"I've been coming here for twenty five years," DIP said. "This has never happened to me."
Valentine's Day Extra -- Oh Those Amazing Love Lines!
The other night I told DIP, "You had me at drug addled dipshits in peril."
This reminded me of all the other fabulous quotes from RomComs past. So in keeping with the holiday spirit, let's relive some of the best in comments! Post your favorite "love lines" from movies, romance novels, dates, anything!
I'll start with a quote from The Thin Man:
Nora Charles: Take care of yourself
Nick Charles: Why, sure I will.
Nora: Don't say it like that! Say it as if you meant it!
Nick: Well, I do believe the little woman cares.
Nora: I don't care! It's just that I'm used to you, that's all.
Had a great time with DIP last night. So good, in fact, he brought me flowers today, took me out for chicken tikka masala and we have plans to go bowling next week! But that's not what I'm gonna talk about.
What I'm gonna talk about is how despite being cute, hilarious, and a writer, I hate his freakin' guts. Here's why.
He finished his first book, attracted a manager in Hollywood who isn't taking new clients but who loves his book so much she's shopping it to the studios, signed with Trident Media and sold to St. Martin's in a two book deal.
All since August.
Yeah. He's the guy we want to kill in his sleep. He knows it too, and believe me, he's looking over his shoulder 24/7. As well he should be.
We went to the local bookshop after lunch and worshipped at the shelf he'll eventually occupy. Mystery is right next to Romance, and I noticed all the copies of my books were gone. It was fun doing geeky writer stuff with him. Despite the fact I hate his guts.
He'd better not bowl a three hundred next week. Not if he knows what's good for him.
I've taken the plunge and joined an online dating service. As you can imagine, I'm completely honest about myself, my weirdnesses...everything. I've even posted a selection of pics ranging from everyday, cute moment, to glam. Hey, I really, truly DO NOT want to spend time with anyone who doesn't appreciate me for WHO I AM. Been there and done that to death. Okay, 'nuff said.
Man have I gotten some entertaining responses! Who knew so many strange men were out there, right in my widdle iddy biddy town! This is like a fiesta.
Anyway, aside from the back-n-forth emails with guys who'll never actually show up for a date (they don't realize they expose themselves immediately -- hey, I know how to read between lines) and the guys who asked me to be friends with benefits (uh, you're not my friend and I see no benefit...) so far there've been drinks with an aerobatic pilot -- fantastic guy, incredibly accomplished and so fun to talk with.
Tomorrow it's on to a newly published author who might be stopping in here on the blog at any time. He just got picked up by St. Martin's Minotaur, writing about, and I quote: "Drug addled dipshits in peril"... Does he sound like my kinda person or what? More pimpage on his books later.
And then Monday it's drinks with an engineer who looks and acts like he should be tooling around in the General Lee.
But, I'm having an attack of conscience here. D'ya think I should warn these poor, unsuspecting fools, er, guys that our exploits might become public fodder?
At least, to some extent?
I dunno. I'm not feeling very charitable at the moment...