Diapers to drink

When I was in college at UCSB, we drank Keystone Light at parties.

It was our go-to beer for the college crowd – cheap, cheap, and cheap.

Fast forward 30 years, and I wouldn’t dare drink a Keystone Light.

I’d rather shave my head with a cheese grater while chewing on tinfoil.

I’m all about craft beer, as evidenced by my membership in the Southbay Beerhounds – an unpretentious haunted house of eccentrics who love beer, dogs, and other oddities.

Yes, sir.

Just like there are wine snobs, there are also beer snobs, and I’m one of them.

My oldest son has now joined the ranks of the college crowd and you know what their favorite drink is?

Coors.

It kills me that he drinks Coors and the other day my sister and I were chatting about my son’s wayward taste in beer.

She too scoffs at Coors.

According to her, it’s a waste of time and alcohol to drink Coors because you have to pee all the time.

The alcohol goes straight through you.

We’re not even sure you can get drunk of Coors.

One thing is for sure, if you’re going to drink Coors, you’ll need diapers to drink.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila FLOOR!

While my sister was visiting, we had the brilliant idea of making margaritas at home. I decided if we were having margaritas, we also needed to do shots and so I insisted we pick up a bottle of Patron to do shots with.

Now the thing you need to know about my sister and I growing up, is that she was the naughty one but I always got in trouble. Somehow she always managed to skate free. I claim that this is because I used to cover for her. She claims she didn’t get in trouble because she was not naughty.

LIAR!

In any case, Lisa and I were about one deep in margaritas and two deep into shots when my sister asked me for another shot.

Sure thing. Coming right up.

As I’m pouring it, my mom comes into the kitchen, looks at me and the tequila, and says, “Really Michelle? Another one?” and walks out.

I’m left standing there feeling reprimanded and indignant.

I follow her.

“Just so you know, it’s for Lisa,” I tell her.

Yes, I was a tattletale.

But I felt a whole lot better and my inner child rejoiced for not being labeled the naughty one.

Just the enabler.

Ha ha!

[What I did after 2 shots of tequila and 2 margaritas is a different post]

FIRE!

My birth family lives in the North Bay.

Specifically the Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Windsor areas of the North Bay.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the North Bay is ON FIRE right now.

It has officially become the WORST FIRE in the history of California fires, surpassing the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.

I knew there was a fire when I left to go to work, some 90 miles away from the devastation.

I could smell it in the air.

I assumed there had been a fire locally until my friend Barbara texted me, “I hope your family is safe.”

What?!

I called her immediately for an explanation.

“Santa Rosa is on fire,” she told me.

I immediately hung up and began texting and calling my relatives.

It took a while but everyone was safe. . . except my birth mom, who I couldn’t reach.

Finally my sister got in touch with me.

It didn’t look promising that our mother’s house was still standing.

She texted me a photo later.

Charred remains of a building.

I immediately started crying.

Mom’s house!

Oh no! All the memories! All the gatherings! The golden nuggets of life that intersected at that home!

10 minutes later my sister told me it was a picture of her school and MOM’S HOUSE IS STIL STANDING.

I went from the depths of despair to the wings of angels in a moment, only tempered by the fact that so many people in the North Bay have lost their home and belongings.

I texted my mom that I loved her and she texted me back.

Coverage is spotty but for the time being, EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY IS DOING FINE.

Hug your loved ones extra close today.

They are our biggest blessings.

Hands Off

I dunno.

Call me old fashioned but the minute my girlfriend pairs off with a guy and does some mattress dancing, he’s HANDS OFF to me in perpetuity.

Actually, the minute she tells me she’s INTERESTED IN HIM is when I start looking in other directions.

But, just to reiterate, once a guy has slept with a friend of mine, he’s OFF LIMITS to me FOREVER.

There has been one exception to this rule: Austin.

Austin dated my sister in high school and had a fling with her.

Years later, Austin and I met and wanted to go out so I ASKED MY SISTER’S PERMISSION to go out with him.

She laughed at me.

“It was fucking high school,” she told me. “Go ahead.”

So I jumped head first into that tall cool drink of water.

Nevertheless, I am STUNNED when friends of mine go after my lovers, ex or current.

It just seems like a very gauche thing to do.

Now.

I know they’re all BIG BOYS and can make up their own damn minds.

And I’ll leave them to it.

But it certainly says something about who some of my friends are that I can’t trust them not to hit on my lovers, past and present.

Fortunately, most of my friends are married.

The few single friends I have aren’t into lumberjacks.

One likes chocolate. One likes mocha. And the other likes nerds.

So I’m golden.

Speedboats and oblivious teenagers

Duncan

The thing is you can be on vacation with your 15 and 17 year old sons in Reno, Nevada visiting your sister.

And maybe you decide to go to Donner Lake for a little R & R.

So you get set up on the beach – towels, sunblock, food, 48 oz can of PBR. . .

And everyone rushes into the water to play while you sun yourself on the beach.

And lo and behold, an hour passes and everyone is still out in the water.

So you look, and your sister is waving her hands frantically.

BECAUSE YOUR 17 YEAR OLD SON IS SNORKELING OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SPEEDBOATS.

And the current is too strong for her to reach him.

INSTANT ANXIETY ATTACK!

But there’s no time to freak out.

So you get yourself up and swim out to your sister, who is floating in an inflatable inner tube with another empty inner tube attached to it.

EVEN THOUGH YOU HAD NO INTENTION OF GETTING WET!

And you slip into the empty inner tube and DRAG your sister, who is tired from swimming for the last hour, out INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE SPEED BOATS WHERE YOUR SON IS OBLIVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR GO PRO CAMERAS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE WITH A SNORKEL AND MASK.

Maybe you asked him to come in with you.

Maybe you begged.

Maybe you even BRIBED HIM BY OFFERING TO BUY HIM HIS OWN GO PRO.

Then you started yelling.

After all, you’re floating IN THE MIDDLE OF SPEEDBOATS trying to convince your son what he’s doing is dangerous – head down in the water, no flotation device, a tiny body in a sea of water and waves. Practically invisible to drunk, vacationing boaters.

And that’s when he says it.

“When I’m 18 I can do whatever I want and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And that’s when you realize that he’s still very young for his age. Physically 17, mentally 6.

This just goes to show. . . you NEVER stop parenting your kids, no matter how old they get.Duncan

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One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR

photo-5While my sister was visiting, we had the brilliant idea of making margaritas at home.  I decided if we were having margaritas, we also needed to do shots and so I insisted we pick up a bottle of Patron to do shots with.

Now the thing you need to know about my sister and I growing up, is that she was the naughty one but I always got in trouble.  Somehow she always managed to skate free.  I claim that this is because I used to cover for her.  She claims she didn’t get in trouble because she was not naughty.  LIAR!

In any case, Lisa and I were about one deep in margaritas and two deep into shots when my sister asked me for another shot.

Sure thing.  Coming right up.

As I’m pouring it, my mom comes into the kitchen, looks at me and the tequila, and says, “Really Michelle?  Another one?” and walks out.

I’m left standing there feeling reprimanded and indignant.

I follow her.

“Just so you know, it’s for Lisa,” I tell her.

Yes, I was a tattletale.

But I felt a whole lot better and my inner child rejoiced for not being labeled the naughty one.

Just the enabler.

Ha ha!

[What I did after 2 shots of tequila and 2 margaritas is a different post]

Burning Man The “Easy” Way

I’m going to Burning Man for the third time this year.

And I’m really looking forward to exploring the playa with Yvonne, Tejas’ former lady love (did I mention they split?).

We’re all piling into his RV, the Motorbeast, and camping together at Burning Man.

But this year there’s a twist.

I am flying in and out of Reno and taking the Burner Express to and from the playa.

Best of all, I get to see my sister who lives in Reno the Saturday before the burn and the Monday after the burn.

Did I mention that she has a waterfall shower and a hot tub?

It will feel SO AWESOME after the burn to take a luxurious shower and soak in her hot tub.

I feel like each time I go to Burning Man, I capture a little more of it’s flavor.

My first year, I struggled.

My second year, I started to have fun.

This year hopefully the trend continues and I spend more time exploring and less time in camp.

I wish I could pack up The Swede and take him with me to Burning Man.

I think he’d have a great time checking out the art and interactivity.

But I don’t think that will happen this year, so I’m resigned to finding ways to really enjoy myself with Tejas and Yvonne.

As much as it’s possible to have a great experience at Burning Man going as a solitary person and making your own fun I find that for me, the most fun I can have is sharing my experiences with others.

Someday perhaps I will share Burning Man with The Swede.

For now, my partners in crime are Tejas and Yvonne.

And that’s a lot!

Learning to be subtle

I have 5 tattoos.

I got them all within a year of turning 40.

I’d go to Reno to visit my sister and I’d come back with a new tattoo.

The last tattoo I got was a watercolor butterfly on my foot.

It got infected. . .

. . .on account of me going in my sister’s hot tub RIGHT AFTER I got the tattoo.

No worries.

My sister ripped me a new one.

And the process of clearing up the cellulitis was awful.

I thought my foot was going to fall off.

At work, I usually keep my tattoos covered up.

I don’t put them on display like I do at Burning Man or Burning Man events.

Remember that one time I shoved my crotch in a man’s face in order to show him my hip tattoos?

Yeah, I’m more subtle about it now.

Today I accidentally left for work in a sundress and to my surprise I had no sweater in my truck.

So I’m sitting in my cube, minding my own business when a coworker walks by.

“Nice tattoo. What is it? A heart?”

It’s actually a heart with an infinity symbol, meaning eternal love.

And it’s my only tattoo I dislike on account of it reminding me of the man I was with when I got it and was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about being in love.

Ah, eternal love.

Not!

As it turns out, eternal love only lasts until another woman comes along.

Needless to say, I won’t be wearing sleeveless tops to work anymore.

See. . . I’m learning to be subtle.

 

My other tattoos are:

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Reunited!

When I was 22 years old, I met my birthmother.

I called her on the phone and for the first time she answered.

She had the most beautiful voice I’d ever heard and I knew someone with a voice that kind would NEVER be mean to me.

So I told her who I was and asked if now was a good time to talk.

The rest is history.

In 17 months, I will have known my birthfamily LONGER than I haven’t known them.

I find this a strangely reassuring milestone.

It’s as if I went away for a little while, or took a long vacation, only to return.

I have three families now – mine, my birthmother’s and my birthfather’s.

Try juggling holiday commitments when you’ve got three families.

[ASIDE: If I was married, it would be EVEN HARDER].

Two weeks ago, I made the trek to Santa Rosa to visit my birthfamily and I had a really great time.

My birthmom and I got to hang out and chat before the rest of the family showed up.

I talked to my sister, who was so nice I can’t help but think there’s potential for a real relationship to develop.

We shared a meal before I drove for three grueling hours (it normally only takes two) during a deluge where even my wipers on hyper speed couldn’t keep up with the rain.

And just cuz I love them BUCKETS, I’m posting a pic we took that day. . . in all our clever goofiness.

We’re in DISGUISE!

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Burning Man: Getting There, part 1

One of the best parts of Burning Man is getting to go to Reno.

Reno is where my sister lives.

fullsizerender2After getting a SUPER LATE start to Reno*, Tejas and I managed to arrive 5 minutes early for our 6:15 dinner reservations at the Atlantis Steakhouse.

My sister sure knows how to pick a restaurant!

I have two words for you:

LOBSTER BISQUE

Heavenly!

We finished our dinner (and drinks!) and retreated to my sisters house for a little pre-burn party, which sadly did not include her hot tub, but did inclde a taxi ride to Walmart to pick up a handle of vodka and some lemonade.

I’m afraid I got a little loopy but managed to grab an uber with Tejas and return to our hotel.

Big day tomorrow!

 

* SOMEONE woke up late and STILL wasn’t finished packing. . . (HINT:  It wasn’t me)