Friday, October 30, 2009

I Want Candy

Ahhh, Halloween...

Some of my favorite Halloween memories involve dressing up for costume parties when I was in my 20s and first living on my own as an adult. Every costume I ever wore (punk rocker, biker chick, Miss America) always somehow included one common accessory -- handcuffs. I guess I used to be a lot bolder, because I distinctly remember cuffing guys to me during parties. I wouldn't even speak to them...I'd just go up to one I thought was cute and wordlessly cuff him. (Let's all say it together: It is a really good thing I met Canetto when I did.)

There's a great Halloween story that involves my dad, back when we lived in an apartment complex in Syracuse, New York. My sister and I had gone out trick-or-treating dressed as Frankenstein (her) and an angel (me). We were probably 4 and 5 at the time.To make my costume, my mom had dressed me in an old white nightgown of hers and had made fantastic cardboard wings that she covered with aluminum foil --giving me a wingspan of a good three and a half to four feet across. She also made me a halo out of a shaped wire coat hanger -- also covered with aluminum foil. My sister and I trick-or-treated for a couple of hours and then came home to immediately begin gorging on candy. (Okay, fine...I was the one who was apparently intent on upping my risk factor for diabetes. She was one of those annoying able-to-delay-gratification types who would be pulling out her treat bag the following summer to sift through the treats and then select a single piece of candy to savor. And of course, I was convinced she did this simply to torture me.)

With our trick-or-treating done, my father decided that he and a friend should enjoy some trick-or-treating themselves. So, he put my costume on over a pair of jeans, and headed out with a beer stein. Since we lived in an apartment complex, he manged to get his stein filled up very quickly with whatever beer or hard liquor our neighbors had on hand...all of them thinking this was very funny, of course.

He was gone for a while on this mission and when he returned home, he tried to walk through the front door into our apartment, but could not. He tried again -- no luck. Confused as to why he could not walk through the doorway, he tried again. Still -- stuck on the front porch. My (sober, and therefore unamused) mother intervened at this point and managed to get his drunk self focused long enough to understand that he simply needed to turn sideways to fit his giant angel wings through the door.

The Devil is in the details,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Batter, Batter, Batter....

So a bunch of employees in upstate New York were refusing to work this past weekend because a Swinger's Convention was being held in their (sold out) hotel.

Being the curious, investigative type that I am...I (naturally) have some questions:

1) When you think of locations in which to engage in deviant sexual escapades, do you really think Buffalo, New York? Who is this convention planner?

2) As long as your job is not sheet-changer or hot tub cleaner-outer, why would you not beg to work that weekend?

3) If you worked that weekend and saw that your former fourth grade English teacher was a conference attendee (not a stretch, based on what we know about the lifestyle), would you ever be able to use the word "conjugate" again without wincing?

4) How often do you use the word "conjugate" now?

5) Do you think that if they called the event a "swap meet", the employees would have been none the wiser?

"Entice the Falls" my ass,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Like Heaven

Somehow, this photo, taken by Kathyconnolly, perfectly sums up what I was feeling the night of the wedding. I twisted with Jack, did the Molly Ringwald '80s dance with several partners (it's the swinger in me) and bounded all over the dance floor. (I have missed working out the past two days as my calves recover.) I promise a wedding recap post soon.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bend Over, I'll Drive

Subtitle: F&#K you, Margaret Zuidema*.

This weekend, my mom married Jack, and invited some of my close friends and some of my sister, Patti's, to the wedding and reception. My sister and I were a year apart in school and had different groups of friends, but of course some of them knew (or at least recognized) each other. At one point during the reception, I brought my friend, Kathyconnolly over to Patti's table to talk to some of her friends that I thought Kath might have known...including Margaret Zuidema. They politely said "Hello" to each other, but there was not much recognition on either's part and Kathyconnolly went back to her table while I chatted with Margaret for a few more minutes.

Margaret casually mentioned to me, "You know, the last time Patti and I got together, we were talking about that day we dropped you off at driver's ed." A lightbulb went off in my head as I remembered just how she and Kathyconnolly knew each other. I ran over, grabbed Kathyconnolly and screamed, "You know Margaret because she and Patti are the ones who got us blackballed from behind-the-wheel." Kathyconnolly ran over, screamed, "F&#K you, Margaret Zuidema" (In a friendly, kidding way, of course), and within moments all of the teen angst came rushing back...

Back in the day, Kathyconnolly and I were taking a summer class for driving instruction so we could then get our learner's permits. Each morning for a week or two, we would meet in a high school parking lot, assemble on a bus where a tight-shorts-wearing-angry-that-he-was-teaching-this-god-forsaken-class-during-the-summer-just-to-earn-a-few-extra-bucks P.E. teacher would provide some instruction, and then we'd leave the bus to get into some cars in the parking lot to practice what we had learned.

And, since my sister and Margaret already had their driver's licenses, they were sometimes (unhappily) tasked with hauling us around...especially when we had to go somewhere legit (like behind-the-wheel classes).

Because they were forced to drive us, Margaret decided they should at least make it interesting one day when she was driving (my sister was in the passenger seat and Kathyconnolly and I were in back). As we neared the high school, Margaret drove about a million miles an hour into the parking lot, did a loud, squealing donut around the instruction bus and then came to a screeching halt right next to the open bus door. Kathyconnolly and I slunk out of the back seat and up the bus steps. As Margaret and Patti sped away without a care in the world to go buy Slurpees (or whatever it was they did with all of their drivers-license-having freedom), Kathyconnolly and I were forced to stand at the front of the bus and be made an example of for the benefit of all our behind-the-wheel classmates. Angry P.E. teacher screamed for twenty minutes about how that was a prime example of how NOT to drive a car and how we should always be concerned about safety and how irresponsible we were. (Please keep in mind that WE were not driving, had no control over how Margaret drove and wanted to crawl under the bus and die.)

We did manage to get through it and ran home and told my mom maturely dealt with the situation. We naively believed we had reached a detente as Patti drove us to behind-the-wheel the next day. She pulled into the parking lot slowly and carefully...and continued driving slowly and carefully as she deliberately ran over each and every orange pylon set up for our class.

*Margaret thought this was please don't think I am in any way disrespecting (or "dissing" as the kids say) her.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Birthday Post

First of all, Happy Birthday today to loyal and hilarious Brutalism reader, Dilettante07! She was reading and commenting on this blog back when it was just a baby (and was she.) Little whippersnapper. Tante was one of the first people I met when I moved to DC in the early 90s. We have many ridiculous shared adventures including (of course) Dilettante Club, being co-flower girls in our friends' wedding in Santa Barbara, Oktoberfest, cocktail parties, a half marathon, smashing cake in each other's faces at our weddings, and more karaoke on video than I want to admit to.

Second of all, Happy Birthday to Avery, who turned four on October 9th. We celebrated with a princess tea party at our house for her and five friends. (At this age, all of the princesses come accompanied by one or both parents, so we had a decent crowd there. Which also included grandparents and our friend, Amy, who wore a dirndl and acted as a handmaiden, serving tea goodies to the girls.)

Before any party at our house, I update the quote board with a new quote. In an attempt to be topical, I wrote one by Stephen Wright that said, "I would kill for a Nobel Peace Prize." It made me chuckle...until it began a not-so-comfortable discussion among the adults about whether or not Obama was deserving of the prize at this point in his presidency. As party host, I was trying to remain neutral, while also trying to end the discussion. So I said, "Enough about that. How do you all feel about abortion?"

Apologies in advance to Avery for all of the play dates and birthday parties from which she will now be banned. She does make a beautiful princess, doesn't she?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Paparazzi Will Just NOT Leave Me Alone

The Dilettante Club is being featured today in Washingtonian magazine.

Be more jealous that I get to hang out with these cool chicks every month.

We always have to look up how to spell "Dilettante," too,

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Patrick Swayze -- A Delinquent Tribute

In the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I lived in an apartment in Charlottesville with my sister. She had just graduated from UVA and was working at CVS because she was an English major wasn't ready to enter the real world yet.

I was working a minimum wage job and taking a statistics class, hoping to get a "C" so that it would transfer without being figured into my (already horrific) GPA at JMU.

What does this have to do with Patrick Swayze, you ask? Just everything. My sister had a bunch of friends that she had met while working at the radio station at UVA. And to a person, they were (and are) the funniest bunch of people I have ever met. That summer, we'd just hang out at the apartment, drinking whatever beer our minimum wage salaries would afford us, and talk and laugh for hours. One of the things we laughed about? The defacement of albums at the radio station.

At the time, the Dirty Dancing sound track was huge, and much to everyone's chagrin, the Program Manager had put it in the rotation to play every hour. In retaliation, one of the crew had taken a little creative license with the Dirty Dancing album cover at the station. Immediately after the song title, "She's like the wind," for instance, he had penciled in "from my ass." And on the front of the album, where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were embracing, someone had artistically added a thought bubble from his head with the words, "that is not my finger" and a thought bubble from her head with the words, "that is not my belly button."

Also, on the Billy Ocean 12 inch single album (where he was wearing a long white leather coat and looking totally pimped out), our friend, Sean, simply added a period and a comma to make the album title, "Billy Ocean. 12 inch, single." Which, if guys were smart, would be the title of their profiles.

All of this to say: RIP, Patrick Swayze. I'm really glad it wasn't her belly button.


In a failed attempt to make me more graceful and more social when I was a little girl, my parents enrolled me in a ballet class.

I was so unbelievably shy that even though my older sister was in the class with me, I was scared to talk to any of the other little girls and was especially terrified of the teacher, Mr. Jack. Mr. Jack was what one might now refer to as a "frustrated-and-closeted-homosexual." Back then, I believe we just called him "artistic."

He scared me so much that one day while we were practicing in the gym after school and I had to urinate, I simply could not raise my hand and ask him if I could be excused to use the restroom. I held it as long as I could and then, inevitably, wet my leotard in the middle of class. (My logic here is admittedly a little flawed. In my pea-sized brain, it was less scary and attention-drawing to have a potty accident in his class than ask to use the restroom.) Many of the little girls in my class (including my sister -- always the loyal team player) pointed at me and laughed. After he realized what was going on, Mr. Jack bellowed, "Young Lady! Do you need to use the restroom?" (Which, to this day, strikes me as an odd question. I really wanted to say, " I just emptied my bladder on the floor. I really wish you had asked me that five minutes ago, though.")

I was relegated to the back row from that point forward -- during class and for the recital. This marked the end of my (short and humiliating) ballet career.

(Any member of my family would now play straight guy and ask, "how old were you when this happened?" and I would reply "25" and then we'd all laugh heartily. It really never gets old. We're a fairly simple people.)