Monday, June 29, 2015

Party On

Things you don't want to discuss during the family birthday party celebration for your 80-year-old Father-in-Law...what I learned:

1) The SCOTUS ruling for marriage equality.

2) Digestive schedules - including but not limited to challenges and successes.


Currently catatonic,

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crunch Time

Scene: the gym

My husband, life partner, father of my child, person I love and trust more than any other and who always has my best interests in mind (patiently, to me): "Hold the Kettlebell like this."

Me: "Oh my GOD! Stop being so condescending. I am holding it like that. You told me to put my weight on my left foot and I can't while I'm holding the Kettlebell like that. Also, I don't feel like doing 10 more reps..."


Trainer I met four minutes ago: "Hold the Kettlebell like this." (Exactly the same way my husband showed me.)

Me: "Okay."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Those Awkward Tween Years

Happy 11th anniversary to Brutalism today! ELEVEN YEARS.

In last year's anniversary post, I chronicled all that we'd been through in the past 10 years. And the past year has been just as interesting...what with hosting a dog fashion show, starring in a horror movie, getting some Twitter love from Morgan Spurlock, an homage to GG Allin, some reminiscing about my own awkward teen years, and almost being eaten by bears.

This year, I'm celebrating by starting a new corporate job (in three hours) and learning how to write posts with a nused cat lazing all over the keyboard.

Together so long we can finish each other's sentences,

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Nash Vegas

The Brutalism family spent Memorial Day weekend in Nashville. We had a lot of fun exploring the city...the music is great, taking golf cart cabs is fun, the downtown area should be avoided after a quick walk-through (unless you enjoy being vomited upon - if so, lucky you!), and there are plenty of great outdoor spaces to enjoy.

Some of my favorite pics from the trip:
Keys to our apartment.
Enjoying the sun in Shelby Park.
The I Dream of Weenie Food Truck.
Happy kiddo.
Sheraton in Nashville. We didn't stay here, but loved this lobby.

The Pfunky Griddle - where you make pancakes at your table.
Perfect for the pfamished pfamily.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts. We spent a couple of hours here making art. 
Parthenon selfie in Centennial Park.
Rule follower.
Honky tonkin' it up at The Second Fiddle.
At The Pharmacy. With the phamished phamily. (I know, I know. I'll stop.)
Cover of her first country album.
Fashion show in our rental apartment. With pants as sleeves,
a skirt bodice and a sheet skirt.
We tried to get in the famous Bluebird Cafe. Alas, we did not get in line at 9:00am and
were therefore not getting into either show of the evening.
And it's such a shame, because I spent considerable effort explaining to my child the behavior I expected at this venue. Her interpretation of my pep talk below:

Monday, June 08, 2015

Into The Woods (Subtitle: What About Trish?)

You know what you don't want to hear at 3:30am while sleeping in a remote cabin in the woods? If you said, "a bear," or "dueling banjos," or even "someone blasting Nickelback" you get partial credit.

But I can state with absolute certainty that the scariest thing you can hear is a friend calling your name in a panicked whisper letting you know there's a guy in back of the house with his huge truck headlights shining into your living room. Especially when the back of the house is a heavily treed, sloping yard leading to a stream that should not be accessible by vehicles: 

Not something you ever want to see. 
And yet, that is exactly the situation in which I found myself early Saturday morning. 

You may recall that I'm not a big fan of the pastoral life. Where others see tranquility and relaxation, I see every horror movie ever released. And really, the only reason I even agreed to this setting was as part of a planned girls' weekend that included four women, two of whom I'm pretty sure I can outrun. But at the last minute, two of them had work emergencies and could not leave early Friday as planned. So I and the cabin owner headed there together, with plans for the other ladies to join us later in the weekend. 

When we arrived at the cabin and drove down the long, sloping driveway that led to her house, I realized how utterly peaceful it was. From her property, you cannot see a neighbor, access the Internet or use mobile phones (This is where I hit you over the head with foreshadowing. Thanks, high school English.) It is the perfect place to unwind. 

And unwind we did. We got settled into our rooms -- hers upstairs and mine on the main level. During the settling process, I saw Stephen King's book, "The Stand" on the nightstand (just realized how funny that is -- or would have been if there was a book titled, "The Bed" on the bed, and a book titled, "The Floor" on the floor -- but I digress...) and promptly flipped it over, because even thinking about Stephen King's tales would have guaranteed a sleepless night. I may have also taken my bear spray and placed it on the nightstand. You know, just in case:

This is my new favorite thing.
Then, we headed out and into town to pick up dinner and stop for a drink at a bar overlooking a lake. 

It's really a beautiful area.
When we got back home, we ate and chatted and turned in at about 10:00pm. And got in a solid four hours of sleep before the panicked whisper awakened me. And this is where the weekend truly began to resemble a horror movie.

We tried to assess what this person was doing in the backyard, while keeping all lights off so he would not know we were in the house and/or awake and fumbled for the landline, which exists for the express purpose of calling 911 in the event of an emergency. As my friend called the police, I stood guard with my bear spray, keeping an eye on the mysterious man who kept driving back and forth in the yard.

We knew it would take some time for the police to reach us, so while we waited, my friend suggested retrieving the .22 her family uses for target practice from a locked closet in the basement. I agreed we should get it, so we crept down the stairs into the pitch black basement when she realized she did not have the keys for the lock. We went back upstairs and found the keys, went back down, opened the closet and then she pulled on the light chain and ... nothing. The light was blown. So, using just my phone flashlight, we looked around the storage closet to where the gun was normally stored and again ... nothing. It was gone. She could not find it anywhere. We turned around to walk out of the closet, fully expecting to run into an ax-wielding murderer, seeing how all of this had followed the script to the letter. Fortunately, no one was there, so we slunk back upstairs, crouched in the corner where we could watch the trespasser, bear spray at the ready, and waited for the police.

Just as the police arrived, the guy hopped out of the truck, locked it, and then sat down at a picnic table in the yard. As the cops questioned him, he explained that he'd had "a few drinks" earlier in the evening and was "following "Trish" (no last name)" home from a bar when he took a wrong turn and ended up driving down a long driveway, between a parked car and shed, over a fire pit, between a bunch of trees, then got stuck in the mud behind the cabin. When the police clarified that he was following "Trish", he changed his story to "Trish was driving, then hopped out and walked home." The cop said, "I wouldn't walk alone in these woods in the middle of the night because of the bears and coyotes...I don't think "Trish" did that."
The perp. Getting cuffed.
We were worried there might have been other people with him who were still out in the woods, so while the police were questioning him, my friend and I walked out back with a flashlight to check things out and try to find his keys (which it became apparent he had tossed to avoid a DUI charge). As we opened the back door to walk outside, my friend turned around and screamed as though she had seen someone, because she thought it would be hi-larious to make my heart stop beating. Mission accomplished. Plus, it had the added benefit of causing the cops to leave the perp in the front yard and come running around the back of the house with their hands on their guns, thinking we were in grave danger.


After the perp was taken away and subsequently charged with a DUI and destruction of property, we waited for the tow truck to come and pull his vehicle out of the yard. The whole debacle took many hours and fortunately, the cops and tow truck were still there until the sun came up. We knew we could not go back to sleep, so we decided to spend the morning at a local farmers' market.

Calming our nerves with the Mennonites.
We headed back to the cabin after the farmer's market and started down the driveway when we noticed the truck that had been pulled from the muck just hours earlier was parked in her driveway and the perp and another person were walking around in the woods behind her house (looking for the car keys, we assumed). We pulled back up the driveway, drove a couple of miles until we could get cell reception and called the police again. The police got to the house, told the man he needed to leave the premises and then (kindly) waited while we set a world record for packing up a house and leaving.

The saga ends with tens of thousands of dollars in property damage, a court date, a huge nap Saturday afternoon and the discovery that my friend's husband had taken the .22 home so he could go beaver hunting (!?!)

Now if only we could find Trish...

AND AN IMPORTANT PSA: Don't drink and drive. Jesus Christ. This guy will probably lose his job and now has an arrest record. And I consider that lucky because he did not hurt or kill someone or himself. Just stop it, already.