Sunday, April 28, 2013

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

For as many times as I have been to the NYC area, it has been only to Manhattan and one great trip to (and an ill-fated return home from) Long Island. So when recently trying to find a halfway point to meet up for a getaway weekend with two of my very best friends - one who lives in Providence, RI, and one who lives near me in Washington, DC, we decided to explore hip-and-trendy Brooklyn.

(Because we're fancy, we took the bus. Because I'm me, I was immediately shat upon while disembarking said bus:)
Yes. That's bird poop on my leg. 
We had fun staying in Park Slope and exploring the different neighborhoods of Brooklyn and checking out local gems like Beacon's Closet and Bierkraft, running through Prospect Park, and strolling through the Brooklyn Flea Market (where we had a Jemima Kirke sighting.) The weather was perfect, the company was great and the conversation was stimulating. Particularly the impassioned discourse we had during dinner one evening about which of the Sweathogs were still with us and which had gone to the great discotheque in the sky. (It is here I'd like to note that my friend, Kath, not only scored 100% in the "guess the fate of the Sweathog" game, but the very next day ran into a friend of hers on the street --  a Pulitzer-prize winning playwright and genius grant recipient. (This is why we've been friends for so many years. Oh, and also because of this.)

Brooklyn Flea Market chalkboard vendor. With a sense of humor.
If there is one bone I have to pick with Brooklyn, it only about the numerous bagel places throughout the city. Not that they aren't delicious -- it's just that there are so many that when it comes to naming these establishments, the owners seem to be struggling to come up with new and creative names. Which is why places named La Bagel Delight and Bageltique exist. And do not get me started on this bastardization:

No. Just no.
Can't believe that's the best name they could fineygl,

Sunday, April 21, 2013

If I Could Save Time In A Bottle

I have a huge catchall jar in my home office where I toss things that I cannot part with, yet which also have no real value other than reminding me that my youth included a lot of inside jokes I can no longer remember and a lot of mentions of the sex I was not having.

Feeling nostalgic this morning,  I opened the jar and went through the contents to discover the following treasures:

1 - a ring from the Freedom Train field trip 
2 - a piece of the Berlin wall I hacked off myself during a trip to Germany in 1990
3 - two original "I want my MTV" buttons
4 - an "I had sex with ET" button and a "hot cross nuns" button. I have no idea what either of these things means, but am confident that at some point I thought these made me subversive and interesting.
5 - a jaw harp (WTF?)
6 - two Buffalo Sabres hockey pucks (because I am such a huge sports fan)
7 - the cork from the bottle of champagne Canetto had the night we got engaged (and that we offered to share with the homeless man on the steps next to us -- he opted for a beer instead)
8 - the wrapper from a Cohiba cigar
9- an "Ira" key chain. Neither an homage to the Irish Republican Army (although, they do have a number of fantastic premium items available) nor to my retirement account. Rather, it is an homage to my friend, Ira, who not only made this in shop class and presented it to me as a gift, but now that we're adults, hosts us for butt plug themed parties
10 - assorted 80s band buttons (ooohh...the meat puppets...I was so punk)
11 - a humongous button from my tenure as a waitress at the Red Lobster, something I wanted to commemorate after 1) bursting into tears when a customer noted that his "guaranteed 15-minute lunch" took 20 minutes to get delivered to his table and 2) waiting on Rerun from What's Happening! (he was a great tipper). 
12 - a 10 cent stamp from the United Nations
13 - Assorted junior high, high school and college pins - (is it really possible to have Marlin pride?)
14 - a pin commemorating my short stint as the lead singer of all-girls' band [sic]
15 - some kind of psychedelic guitar pick and a giant penny

Wondering when to break it to my daughter that this is her inheritance,

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Here's Mud in your Annulus

One of my best friends get daily drilling reports for the projects on which her company is working.
And if you've never been privy to one of these (and if you have not, I suggest you make a friend in drilling right away and ask them to include you on their report distribution), understand that they always include gems such as these:

  • Ran string and plumb-bob down annulus
  • Circulated annulus clean
  • Nippled up BOPE on test stump, fabricated choke lines
  • Nippled up spacer spool, double gate, and riser
  • Test casing and blind rams
  • Pre-heat and butt welded
  • Toolpusher: (colleague's name listed) (Not as bad as "Team Diarrhea" but still)
  • Current Operations: POOH and lay down
  • Mud in the annulus

And this is why now instead of toasting with our longtime favorite cheer of "Prost!" we now toast each other with "Here's Mud in your Annulus!"

And which is also why we find that no one wants to go out with us anymore. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Friday, April 05, 2013

Hell-ay, Baby!

I began writing this during the midst of my very first spring break trip.Well, the first one I want to count, anyway.

There was that one dreadful trip to Florida when I was a college freshman and my three girlfriends and I managed to find the only city in the entire state that was almost completely devoid of college-aged kids. Out of sheer necessity, we hooked up with a group of boys from some vague midwestern state that also made this unfortunate choice of destinations. The boy that singled me out for wooing had not quite finished evolving, so I ended up taking one for the team and entertaining him so that they could flirt with their Plan B love interests. (I'm nothing if not a humanitarian.)

I never took a spring break trip again after that. Until now.

Last year, when we were still in the I-can't-believe-we're-paying-this-much-for-kindergarten-but-it's-awesome-because-there-are-no-in-service-days-or-lengthy-spring-breaks mode, we did not have to worry about this. But now, we get a forced week off right before Easter and since we had to take the time off work anyway, we figured we'd just book a trip somewhere.

We're cute.

Apparently, the entire universe has spring break at exactly the same time, so flights cost $47 million, resorts have no availability, and even some of the more exotic destinations we researched were completely sold out. It looked at though we were going to have to stay home, and as lovely as a "staycation" sounds (Ed. "staycation" does not sound at all lovely) I knew it would inevitably mean taking care of home projects and errands. While that is a slice of heaven for my husband, I have let him know several times that if (God forbid) anything ever happens to him, I am immediately moving into a studio apartment because that is all I'm capable of managing. And only then if I can e-mail the landlord instead of speaking to him or her directly.

So when one of my friends mentioned finding cheap fares on Virgin America - we booked ourselves some flights to LA. Both my husband and I have fond memories of young, crazy days in LA. Nights spent on Sunset Boulevard and at the Forty Deuce, rubbing elbows with movie stars (while serving them cocktails, but whatever) and getting disgusted eye rolls from hotel management in trendy West Hollywood hotels. We figured that age 7 was the perfect time to initiate our daughter.

For the first half of our trip, we stayed at the Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, and not just because Leonardo DiCaprio is an investor. The hotel is very well located and very hip -- especially for people as cool as us who rent very subtle cars for their vacations:

Bitchin' Camaro. With a booster seat.
We did eight million things while staying in West Hollywood -- La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum, Griffith Observatory and hike, walk of fame, meth, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, The Grove and the Fairfax Farmer's Market. And saw some of the more famous landmarks as well:

And just because we're now older and have a child does not mean we missed out on the celebrity hobnobbing:

"Muse" may be too strong a word, but I do have Louis CK's ear.
For the second part of our trip, we headed south to Huntington Beach where GET THIS - our child OPTED OUT of a day at Disneyland to stay at the hotel pool and play with her new friend. Which would have been awesome if he was not a 53-year-old drifter.

We biked, played on the beach, visited with our beautiful friend, Lisa, who we met while working the Vanity Fair party all those years ago

Canetto, Lisa, Jeff Cockey and Me. Circa 2003?
and revised our retirement strategy to include winning the lottery and buying a house on the Strand in Manhattan Beach.

Can it still be considered a successful spring break when you have no regrets?