Thursday, March 31, 2011

the alien now living in my body

The alien now living in my body:

* decided to try the lifestyle in The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss for at least one month.

* felt pretty awful at the start of the week.

* then started feeling better.

* lots better.

* likes eating only protein, legumes, and greens.

* thinks Diet Dr. Pepper is 1000x too sweet.

* drinks a lot of water, which she used to hate.

* was really excited to purchase a kettlebell.

* was so excited about said kettlebell that she did more exercise than she was supposed to do.

* then went and played 90 minutes of tennis and

* even did some random sprinting, just for the hell of it.

* is looking forward to HOLY ENORMOUS CRAZY GIGANTIC BINGE DAY Saturday.

* but is also looking forward to getting clean again on Sunday.

* has already lost weight and looks better, even if it was only water and bloating and sugar inflammation and whatever the dieting crazies/gurus say it is.

* has a dip between her ribcage and belly again, and LIKES IT.

* possibly feels the best she's ever felt in her life.

* is extremely surprised by that.

* needs to go to sleep to make sure she gets more than 8 hours.

* is the best damn parasite I've ever had.


I, for one, welcome you, new weird alien ruler.

Let's look freakin' awesome in a bathing suit by June, what say you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

on the social contract

Please read the following scenario and choose your response carefully.

You get a hot drink at Starbucks. All of the tables are taken, so you ask if there is anyone sitting in a seat between a guy on a phone and a woman taking up three consecutive chairs and a footstool with various bits of work. There isn't. You sit down, pull out your laptop and hot pink earbuds, and start working. You take a sip, and as pieces of the roof of your mouth disintegrate with the pain of a thousand fiery suns, you shudder and manage to get a drip of Americano on the seat to your right, where the woman has placed a bunch of her crap. You get up, get a napkin, and politely wipe up the spill, then put your drink discreetly on the corner of the closest footstool, which holds the woman's drink, a pile of trash, and what appears to be sheets of seaweed, for some strange reason.

She says, "You know, you could use that table," gesturing to the footstool to your left, where the guy on the phone has his FEET.

You say, "You mean where that guy has his FEET?"

She frowns and counters, "Yeah, well, this one wobbles. See?"

She shakes her footstool, spilling a big blurp of your drink.

You give her your bitchiest smile, the one that intimates you might know how to break her arm, and whip your drink to the other footstool. "There," you say.

"I wasn't tryin' to be all whatever," she says, insuring that she WAS actually trying to be all whatever.

What do you do?

a) Say, "Yes, actually, it's pretty obvious you WERE trying to be all whatever, because our social contract says that I have to accommodate you, because you seem to think you have the right to three public chairs and a footstool for all your crap. But I don't play by your rules, and you can GO TO HELL with your sissy-pants non-apology. My m-er-f-ing American is gonna sit on that m-er-f-ing stool, and if you don't like it, you can TAKE YOUR STUPID SEAWEED SOMEPLACE ELSE."

b) Punch her in the face.

c) Pick up your drink and leave with a derisive snort.

d) Accidentally spill your Americano on her iPad.

***

Did you choose (c)?

I did.

And I kind of hate myself for not having the girlballs to pull a, b, or d. This social contract crap is simply meaningless in a faceless society where even if I did see this lady again, I wouldn't recognize her, unless she had her fake Burberry scarf and weird sheets of faux seaweed. Being nice to people used to be your societal insurance that they would one day be nice to you. Now it just means that rude people with less to lose get to impose on polite people who understand the ramifications of violence at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks and want to be able to work there again on Thursday.

And yet there's not a good option for a nice, peaceful suburban mom who doesn't want to go to jail for messing up bitches at the local coffeehouse. I'm 100% sure I've got more fight training than she does, and I'm also 100% sure that my boiling coffee could have pulled an Indiana Jones on her face... or her iPad.

But instead, I got up and left. That's what you have to do, if you want to pick up your kids on time at preschool and not get fined $10 for tardiness.

Sometimes, I wish we could just go back to Viking rules.

Because then, I'd have an iPad and a hand towel in Burberry plaid.

Monday, March 28, 2011

haikus: slow carb hell

no sweets, no dairy
nothing but meat, beans, and veg
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?

*

i feel weak, tired
light as a balloon. but lost
3 pounds in 3 days.

*

suddenly things taste
amazing. avocado
doesn't taste like spit.

*

a sugar addict
like me could lose all will to
live. but I have hope.

*

bathing suit season
and vacation are coming.
i will be ready.

*

and if nothing else
i have coffee again. it's
why i wake up now.

*

on the other hand
saturday is binge day, so
WAIT FOR ME, FIVE GUYS.

*

and also darcy's,
please reserve for me one of
EVERYGODDAMNTHING.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

writing group challenge: 2 viewpoints


The challenge: Everyone in the class wrote out their version of yesterday's post, listing 10 - 20 beliefs about which they feel passionate. Without knowing why, we were each asked to choose one belief from a partner's list while they chose one from ours. And then we each had to write a scene between two people, each of whom shared one of those two chosen viewpoints.

My viewpoints:

(from mine) I believe in chasing passion, because as soon as you settle for complacency, you start dying inside.

(from partner) Any two people have the right to be married.



The 15-minute story:

Gettin' Hitched

"But mom, you haven't even met her. How can you be so heartless?" Blake asked, his voice rising frantic over a cacophony of clanks and shouts.

"I know everything I need to know, dear," she answered, and even over the phone, over the hundreds of miles in between the stable where he worked and the ashram where she lived, he could hear the corners of her mouth turning down in distaste, as if he were still a small boy playing ball with her sandalwood sculpture of Buddha.

"But you always taught me to chase my passions," he said. "With a bang, not with a whimper, right?"

She snorted.

"This isn't a bang *or* a whimper. It's a swift kick in the pants. And it's not passion."

"Yes it is. I've never felt such a strong connection, not to anyone or anything."

"Connection isn't what it's all about, you know. You were connected to that raggedy ass blanket growing up, but you didn't marry it. A marriage is about common goals, shared interests, a lifelong journey."

"Look, mom. We know. We talked about it."

Another snort.

"You talked, she listened."

"But I know she wants the same thing I do. If you don't believe anything else, you've got to know that I can see it in her eyes. You always said they were the mirror of the soul."

"Tell that to a blind person. Or a lobster."

"LINDSAY IS NOT A LOBSTER, MOM!" he wailed, and she could almost hear him pulling out his hair in that melodramatic way of his. She smiled in spite of herself and sighed.

He heard the slight whisper as she moved the phone to her other ear, her braided hair sliding over the mouthpiece.

"Fine, honey. You want to tell me what she is, then?"

"She is beautiful, mom. A gentle, natural soul. With hair as soft and dark as a raven's ebon wing--"

"Save it for your Byronic Poetry prof, Blake. If you want my blessing, you're going to have to do better than that. You just described half of my yoga class, for pete's sake."

"Just come meet her. Get to know her. Go for a ride with us through the forest. It's where we fell in love. I thought you'd think it romantic."

"I think you're an idiot!" she shouted.

"Why are you contradicting everything you ever taught me now that I finally have a chance of happiness?" he screeched, a note of madness entering his voice.

It wasn't their first argument, and she was used to it. There was another long suffering sigh.

"Because I love you, and I don't want to see you throw your life away. Yes, I believe that any two people who love each other have the right to be married. Yes, I taught you to chase your passion. And I was even nice to that tramp you brought home from senior prom."

"But?"

"But I'm not going to let my only son marry a horse."

"You're a hypocrite!" he shouted, and she shouted right back, "And you want to make me the grandmother of a hippogriff! I may be liberal, but I won't have it!"

"Fine," he said with a sniffle, deflating. "But will you at least buy us a new saddle for Christmas?"

*

Note: In the above photo, I loved my horse. But I didn't "LOVE" my horse.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

i'm a believer

For last Tuesday's writing group, our first exercise was a short but challenging one:

Write 10 - 20 honest beliefs or statements that you're passionate about.

Here are mine.

1. I am horribly critical about art, but I still think any art is better than no art.

2. I believe in what XTC said: Any kind of love is alright.

3. I feel that any god that inspires hate or intolerance isn't much of a god.

4. I believe in chasing passion in life, because as soon as you settle for complacency, you start to die inside.

5. No matter what sort of diet I'm on or whether I'm being vegan or going dairy-free or gluten-free, I will NEVER turn down a piece of birthday cake.

6. I don't believe in quitting; I believe in knowing when to stop wasting your time.

7. I don't think Crocs or Uggs will ever get you laid.

8. I think that entirely selfLESS parents are just as dangerous as entirely selfISH ones.

9. When the muse is elusive, try coffee before noon and alcohol after 6. From 12 - 6, you're screwed and should probably just take a nap.

10. If I can't change it, I don't really want to think about it.

11. Bacon makes most things better.

12. Pretty things are good for the soul.

13. The hardest part of marriage/partnership is learning how to fight. The next hardest part is learning how to listen, even when it hurts.

14. Pictures of kittens are never a bad thing, and that's why the internet is an okay place.

Anybody want to share theirs?

Friday, March 25, 2011

tag. you suck.


I don't often post rants about products or companies, but my afternoon has fallen prey to a new entry on the Enemies List:

The Tag by Leapfrog

This magical pen/wand helps kids learn to read, or, in my house, enthralls them with stories and teaches them words like "ornithologist." But it's not as magical as it seems, because for each $14 Tag book you buy, you have to hook the Tag pen/wand up to the computer and upload the audio files.

Doesn't sound like much, does it? A few 2MB files?

I didn't think so. Until I tried to hook up the Biscuit's Tag pen to upload the cool new interactive map of the United States we bought for her this morning.

That was at about 1:30. It's now 3:32.
IT'S STILL NOT DONE.

Seriously. First, the pen was out of batteries. So I put in fresh ones. Then it wouldn't connect, so I jiggled cables, switched USB slots, pressed buttons. Still, it wouldn't work. The little green "reading your tag" bar came to mean nothing, until we were a family of Tag nihilists.

Now, mind you, if you don't press a button on the tag, it shuts down every 5 minutes, and you have to start the entire download process again. So maybe you're putting one kid down to nap or writing an article and forget to push a button.

BOOM.

Back to the beginning.

So here I am, anxious, snapping at my four-year-old who is incapable of understanding why she can't play with her new toy. What am I supposed to tell her?

I don't know why it won't work, sweetie. They made a crummy product, which is why your first one broke when dropped once on the carpet. And now your second one isn't working. I doubt you'll get a third one, because I'm not giving them any more money in exchange for your tears and my time. Welcome to 2011, where toys aren't meant to last even one year.

I think for the next holiday we'll just get the children some interestingly-shaped rocks. At least they won't let us down.

Welcome to the Enemies List, Tag. Have fun hanging out with Best Buy in hell.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

PWNing the Perfect Storm


Today I reached the tipping point.

Much like that warthog up there, wallowing in his own refuse.

Whether it's because I'm a woman, a mother, an artist, or just a partially crazy person, every now and then I find myself suffering what I call:

The Perfect Storm.


But there's no George Clooney.

Thank goodness.

He was in that right? I didn't see it. But he skeeves me out.

The Perfect Storm is what happens when temporary setbacks combine with chemical/hormonal issues and sleep deprivation to make me feel like a crazy person. It's almost like a minor crisis of self, where I feel horrid and yucky and like I can't catch up. Like I'm drowning. Wallowing.

But not all the way. No, the part of me that still takes showers and snuggles children and keeps the toilet paper stocked knows that it's freaking stupid. That it will pass. That there's no way out but through. And that part keeps me from actually going crazy.

I had one today-- a Perfect Storm. I didn't want to write. I couldn't write. I felt out of control. Kind of like Cher in Clueless, I just sat where I was, dazed, until I knew the answer.

I needed to go bowling.

So I went to the bowling alley and bowled two sets by myself-- something I've never done before-- and then I went to a new restaurant downtown and ate sushi and drank green tea while reading a scandalous romance about a scandalous whatever on my Nook.

And afterward, I felt much better.

In conclusion:


1. When you're stuck in a loop in your head,
doing something entirely unfamiliar can help get you out of it.

or

2. Bowling and sushi can cure anything.

Since then, I had a great day, came up with a new story idea I'm really excited about, and solved most of the problems that seemed insurmountable at 10am.

$21 well spent.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

love/hate

I love the smell of our CSA bag and can't wait to cook exciting, healthy things with odd vegetables. I hate the fact that they left out the kiwis and I don't want to bring it up and be the whiny new person.

I love that I spent 80 minutes playing tennis this afternoon. I hate the way my stomach looked in a photo a friend took of me climbing on a playground this morning, which made me realize I am apparently 15% larger than my brain thinks I am, which would explain why I have bruises on my hips from running into doorknobs.

I love listening to my children laugh and sing. I hate listening to them do pretty much anything when I'm trying to think, which I want to do more and more these days, foolish creature that I am.

I love putting the baby to bed, snuggling him and making up funny new knock-knock jokes that end in POOP. I hate the way his hair smells after he smears ketchup in it.

I love that tomorrow is Thursday, which means I get 2.5ish hours to myself in the morning. I hate that it's almost summer, and I won't have that luxury. But I love that my mother's helper will be out of school soon.

I love that we finally have Venture Bros. season 4 vol. 2 to watch. I hate that I can't stay up all night watching it because I clearly can't function on less than 8 hours of sleep, as evidenced by today, which was half TODAY IS THE BEST DAY EVER and half TODAY IS IMPOSSIBLE, if you couldn't tell.

I love how busy my life is right now, how full of possibilities and interesting pursuits. I hate the associated stress from saying YES to too many things and then all of them being due in the next two weeks and involving dangerous chemicals.

I love blogging and writing and social media. I hate that I can't do any of them right now, because it's bedtime, and I still have to go shower off the tennis stench.

Night, all. Sleep well, and may you dream of cupcakes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

dusk till dawn


Dusk till dawn.

It's a wonderfully horrible vampire movie from the 90's in which Selma Hayek dances with a snake and George Clooney is, inexplicably, the brother of Quentin Tarrantino.

But more than that, it's my current sleep philosophy.

Along with that "don't be buzzing on caffeine all freakin' day," I'm trying to get more than my usual 6 hours of sleep per night so that I don't need all that caffeine. It's a vicious, tasty circle.

But it's hard.

I love the quiet moments after the kids go to bed. I can hammer out a few pages of the next book, write for the blog, do some reviews for Cool Mom Picks, or type up an article for our local Patch. Or I can just play on Twitter and Facebook and generally enjoy myself in a way that's impossible during the day, when tiny people are shrieking POOP and YOU ARE A MOMMY TRANSFORMER and AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO FEED ME?

And then it's suddenly 11pm and I'm wide awake.

On the other hand, I slept for ELEVEN HOURS last night. And it was amazing. I swear I looked 5 years younger this morning. And I've been thinking about bedtime all day.

Sleep is my new caffeine.

So I'm going to go now. And sleep. And I'll see you when this happens again.


Note: Going to bed at 8:30 does not make me lame and boring. I AM FASCINATING. Just sleepy. I'll ride a unicycle in the morning. That'll show you.

Just out of curiosity, how much sleep do you guys get?

If it's more than 12 hours, I'll kick you in the jibblies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

another twisted experiment gone wrong. so wrong.


I wouldn't say I'm a quitter.

I would just say that I figure out when something isn't working and then stop doing it.

In the past five years that I've kept this blog, I've gone off sugar a couple of times, went vegan for several months, and spent an awful lot of time trying to find satisfactory replacements for dairy and cupcakes, for which there are none.

But, honestly, none of those were life changes. There wasn't a EUREKA moment where I realized that I felt or looked any better. And yet, like anybody, I keep thinking there's some secret silver bullet that's going to suddenly clear up my skin, give me energy, help me sleep, and help me instantly drop the 15 extra pounds that have plagued me every single day of my life.

Dr. Krog recently bought this book called TRANSCEND, which is about The Singularity. I know it sounds like a bad Tom Cruise movie, but it's actually a brilliant concept that says that technology is moving at an exponential pace, and if we can just hold on long enough, supercomputers will solve all of our health issues and allow us to live as long as we wish. And the book Transcend contains his theories, recipes, and vitamin regimens to help an aging body last as long as possible.

Of course Dr. Krog and I want to live forever, so we're trying some of Kurzweil's theories. Not in a wackadoo-religious-Tom Cruise-give all your money to the cult leader sort of way. In a "Well, it can't hurt to try to live as long and as well as possible, right?" sort of way.

So we're cutting out caffeine and sugar. We're trying to eat less saturated fat and drink more green tea, even if it sometimes makes us want to yark. And we've replaced Unisom with Melatonin, which actually works really well.

Therefore, I've gone five days without coffee.

FIVE. DAYS.

Yes, I know that there's such a thing as decaf. But I don't like coffee unless it's beige with flavored powdered creamer and swimming in sugar. So I'm doing chai tea with stevia in the morning. Consequently, by about noon, I am having feverish daydreams about pasta and trying not to keel over. On the upside, I'm actually going to sleep on my own for the first time in years, which has to be helping my liver and kidneys at the very least.

I know I'm going on and on. I guess my main point is that LIFE WITHOUT COFFEE IS HOLY CALAMITY SCREAMING INSANITY WHY THE HELL AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF?

But I've heard it gets better. And my skin's a lot clearer.

So it can't be all bad.

In any case, has anybody found their own secret bullet or a perfect regimen?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

my job doesn't pay well, but the view is spectacular


The days are long and the years are short.

That's what happens when you have kids.

This party seemed to last forever, mainly because I didn't get any cake and I didn't get enough sleep last night and I haven't had caffeine in three days and I kept daydreaming of my great-grandmother's living room covered in that fake white yogurt they put on pretzels--and no, I have no idea why that image came to mind. But I talked to some nice folks and loved watching the girls twirling and giggling in their princess costumes.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a cowgirl/Indian. Or Indiana Jones. I don't think I ever had a princess dress or went through a princess phase. I didn't learn how to be feminine until I was in my late 20's.

But I love to watch her pretend and spin around and sing and coo over jewels. The happy moments go by as fast as that picture, so fast that they can't even be captured.

That's why it's my job to chase them.



Although sometimes I try to catch them like fireflies in a jar.

They're easier to document when they can't run away.

p.s. By "my job," I mean motherhood. Not my sweet writing gigs, which treat me rather nicely.

Friday, March 18, 2011

perpective: i haz it

1. Who could be sad when this is their office?





2. Who could be sad when they have such a valiant knight?




3. Who knew you could do this with a leek?


Perspective:

Making yesterday's tragedies into today's challenges.

And also purchasing, cooking, and perverting your first leek.

That's not what the dictionary says,
but it works for me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

sad badger


I wanted it to be a cupcakes and wine night.

A let's-dye-the-milk-green-and-laugh night.

Instead, it's a Chumbawumba night. A Matthew Wilder night.

A contemplative cup of green tea night.

A dig-your-sad-angry-badger-claws-into-the-dirt-and-hold-on night.

Tomorrow it will be a memory, and one day it'll be a joke.

That's what I like the most about getting older, I think.

The perspective.

Knowing that roadblocks aren't steamrollers. Just bumps.

Don't ask me why I'm sad. It's utterly stupid, and I'm wallowing.

Just look at the moon, and let's all think about

how life could be a lot worse.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

it's a twitter thing


If I were to draw steampunk paranormal romance stick figures, it would be something like that.

Except I'd order some "real vintage" pocket watch parts instead of just using two of my old pocket watches for her b00bs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

hello, fellow atlantean

They may have found Atlantis.

Seriously.

And here's a picture of a real, live Atlantean.


Or it might just be another weird picture from San Antonio.

I'll let you decide.

Like I could stop you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

this is why i can't be trusted


How I choose my purchases at the package store:

1. Prominent usage of the word CUPCAKE.

2. RED VELVET in scarlet calligraphy.

3. Attractive contrast between spring-ish label and bright green liquid.

4. Occasionally reading the crap on the back that tells you stuff about what it actually tastes like, if I happen to have time and the font is intriguing.

*

In conclusion:

Maybe someone else should select the wine.

p.s.
I wore blue eyeshadow when I was 14 because the color was pretty,
even though it made me look like a blind hooker,
and that should tell you everything you need to know
about the way my mind works.

Leboutin, shmeboutin

Carrie Bradshaw can suck it.

Because not only does her face look like a foot, but I think she's got the shoe thing all wrong.

See, I love shoes. But not $600 sandals.

No, I'm into boots.


That, for example, is the newest boot to capture my fancy. I fell in love with the brass stars on the heels and the White Rabbits on the soles. I was not so much in love with the $100+ price tag.

And then they went on sale for $49, and I was SOLD.


I love the aesthetics of a good boot. The perfectly swooping lines, the details. The way that a good heel feels better and gives me a few extra inches. The fact that, unlike Carrie Bradshaw's sandals, you can wear them for nearly anything and in any weather.

And also the tassels and stars and White Rabbits.


In boots, I stand taller. My posture's better. I feel proud and strong. I feel like I can run or ride or sit sedately or write or kick the world in the nuts, if I need to.

Especially in my cowboy boots.

You don't want to imagine what those pointy toes could do to the world's nuts.

90% of the time, I wear them under jeans, and no one can see the green flowers on the side or the cool stitching across the top.

It's my little boot secret.


See, Sex in the City only lasted 6 seasons.

But boots are forever.

Friday, March 11, 2011

screw you, rainbow fish


A long way out in the deep blue sea there lived a fish. Not just an ordinary fish, but the most beautiful fish in the entire ocean. His scales were many pretty colors, with sparkling silver scales mixed in for good measure.

The other fish were amazed at his beauty and always wanted to play with him. But he was proud and just liked showing off a lot.

One day, a little blue fish followed him and said, "Rainbow Fish, please give me one of your scales. You have plenty, and they are mightily awesome."

"No way, Jose," the Rainbow Fish scoffed. "I don't give away pieces of my soul like that, man."

But then all the other fish ostracized him, and he realized he was being a vain little prick.

So he went on a spirit journey where weird animals who can't talk told him to do stuff. An octopus told him to give his scales away, if he wanted to learn how to be happy.

"That is entirely lame," Rainbow Fish said. "Mediocre fish need to learn how to be awesome in their own way, not by taking stuff away from other people and begging all the time."

Then he felt the brush of a fin. It was that pesky little blue fish again. "Seriously, dude," he said, "Would you give me one little scale? And can I borrow $20?"

The Rainbow Fish thought very hard about all he had learned and said, "No. I'm not giving you my scales. But I would be happy to teach you how to sing or draw, or brainstorm some career options, or to give you a ride to the culinary instutute."

"But that's work," the little blue fish whined. "I just wanted one of YOUR scales."

"Don't be a lazy ass," said the Rainbow Fish. "I'm sure you're full of awesome, but it's YOUR job to figure out how."

"So can I have $5?" the little blue fish asked again.

"You're a mooch," the Rainbow Fish said. "And you may have ostracized me before, but I'm not so sure I want to be your friend anyway."

And with that, the Rainbow Fish swam away, silver scales flashing, to make friends with undersea creatures who put in the hard work to be good friends and explore their own gifts in life.

THE END.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

that was far too serious.



Try this instead.


That's me with Jean-Luc Picard.

MAKE IT SO!



That's my feet with an anaconda.

SNAKE IT SO!

And here's me with Jack Nicholson.

FAKE IT SO!

That axe barely missed me. Seriously.

You can totally see the fear in my eyes.

There. Now that's more unruly, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

travelog: San Antonio


At sunrise on March 6, San Antonio celebrated the 175th anniversary of the final day of the Alamo siege. In 1836, 189 men gave their lives for Texan freedom. Even today, the sound of muskets firing over the Alamo is haunting.


The smell of gunpowder in the air was eerie, and I jumped every time the shots echoed between the beloved relic and the modern hotels around it.



It was amazing, the mix of old and new in San Antonio.

Across the street from that canon, the Ripley's Odditorium blasted Cee-lo Green's latest song, the words changed to "Forget You".

But it's the Alamo. We're not supposed to forget it.



That's what San Antonio looks like from 750 feet up in the air, at the top of the Tower of the Americas. Back in 1968, it was part of the World's Fair.

Now it's the best way to see a city where old missions nestle among busy streets and one haunted hotel has a yellow Lab as their official concierge.

His name is Luke, but I didn't get to meet him.


I did get to see the city from both angles: way up high, and from the beautiful San Antonio river, which was thoughtfully and carefully improved in 2008 as it flows through the downtown area. Clean water ripples past businesses, restaurants, shops, hotels, and even through a mall.

You don't need a car to see the best of what San Antonio has to offer.

Your feet will do. And a boat is nice, too.


It's actually uncanny, everything the city has to offer.

You can go from chatting with reenactors in front of the Alamo itself...



...to enjoying a gourmet meal in less than ten minutes.

If you do want to take a tour bus, you can see even more.

Like the original missions, where services still happen every Sunday and friars bustle around in brown robes.


Or maybe to the Botanical Garden, which has plenty of room to roam. And if you're hungry, you can eat in a booth that was actually a horse's stall, back when the restaurant was a stable.


That tower stands on the highest land in San Antonio.

And the flowers aren't bad, either.


Or, if you're feeling fancy, you can dine at the Little Rhein Steakhouse.

There's nothing like sitting on a terrace over the river, listening to live music, watching the twinkling lights in the trees, and snuggling under a poncho.



Because they have enough ponchos for everyone, if it's cool out.

They also have steakballs.


It's actually a perfectly cooked filet mignon.
It's enough to make your eyes roll back in your head.

But we called 'em steakballs.

The mudballs that arrived for dessert were even better, but I didn't get a picture.

I was too busy eating.

I ate so much that I didn't have room for this.


That's a box made of milk chocolate, filled with chocolates and topped with a dark chocolate armadillo and the state of Texas. The Marriott left it in my room for me.

It was like the best Easter basket ever.


If there's one thing Texans are serious about, it's Texas.

It used to be a country, you know. And its citizens remember proudly.

So whether you're hanging out at the fascinatingly kitschy downtown museums...


...or exploring the rich history and tapestry of cultures...


...I've got to admit that San Antonio might surprise you with its awesomeness.

Just like it surprised me.

missing: my pretties


Gone.
My pretties are gone.



My jewelry roll inexplicably disappeared some time between San Antonio and Atlanta. A little cream bag with three zippers, covered in beads and shells.


And it contained my jewelry. Not the fancy stuff-- the pieces that aren't worth much to anyone but me.


The beautiful etched silver poppy by my talented friend Alice, my gift to myself for losing the pregnancy weight-- again.


The wood necklace in the second picture, which I wore the first time I figured out how to look "put together" for a high school friend's baby shower.


The heavy, hand-made turquoise ring with UNRULY HELPMEET stamped on the band, just because I'd never owned a statement ring and wanted to have something huge on my Truckasaurus finger.

The jade and pottery shard necklace that looks so great with my plum tank top and black sweater, my go-to outfit for when I want to look awesome but not like I'm trying to look awesome.


My favorite gold earrings, the ones in the first picture with the giant elk. They make me feel like a gypsy. They almost blew out of my ears on the observation deck of the Tower of the Americas, and I turned to my buddy Krystal and said, "OMIGOD, I would totally freak out if I lost those earrings," and I put them in my pocket until we were on solid, non-tornado-windy ground again.


I feel like I didn't just lose my jewelry. I lost my stories.

I called the car service. I tore the house apart. I posted on Craigslist. I submitted a form to Continental. And in the back of my mind, I'm praying I just hid them from myself at 2am when I got home, and I'm going to find them in a sock one day soon.


If not, this post is here.


So I can remember.


Sniffle.

Monday, March 7, 2011

a photoessay on religion






That about sums it up for me, although it's more meaningful when you learn that that Jesus is two-hundred years old, made of papier-mache, fully articulated, and has human teeth, because even when I'm being serious, I'm totally not being serious.
I think my actual philosophy is best summed up by a Tom Robbins quote:
I believe in nothing; everything is sacred
I believe in everything; nothing is sacred.
San Antonio, TX
March 4, 2011

bucket list #37

It's off the bucket list: Meet Bella and Jacob.


Bella and Jacob weren't vampires and werewolves, though.
Let me rephrase.
37. Meet childhood hero Jack Hanna at Sea World
and play with baby cheetahs named Bella and Jacob.



Childhood me was freaking out. Grown-up me was freaking out.
One of the cheetahs pulled the laces out of my new Chucks.
IT WAS AWESOME.
Thanks, San Antonio!

ps. Tomorrow I'll post pics of me with Edward.
And Jean-Luc Picard and Johnny Depp.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

photos of me being ridiculously childish


I'm exhausted and stuffed full of steakballs (don't ask),

but I have to post these pictures of me being silly.

Tomorrow, I hope to post pictures of me at the wax museum, being silly.

These things are, after all, important.


Let's discuss size, for example.

That's me, compared to a dinosaur at the Witte Museum.

I am smaller.

That's me at the Guinness Book of World Records Museum, standing in a hole the size of the world's fattest man. See, Anonymous? I'M NOT THE FATTEST MAN ON EARTH.


Oh, wait. Yes, I am, actually.

Know why?

Because I ATE THE ALAMO.

Or at least half of it.
It was made of milk chocolate.

Also, on an unrelated note, I rode a tortoise.


More tomorrow.
Or, most likely, the day after that. Whatever it is.
P.S. San Antonio is a great place to be ridiculous.