pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: May 2016

28 May 2016

Waiting for the moment they'll be calling to me


Dumbarton Oaks
Washington, D.C.
20 May 2016

Fairy tale garden.

Silence...

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

24 May 2016

All the things

 
Dumbarton Oaks Museum
Washington, D.C.
22 May 2016
 
No, I don't remember, though there is something innately cheerful about her. I don't think she was intended to be cheerful but there you go.
 
And I'm ill with the crud that I picked up from all the lovely youth without whom et cetera... Fever and headache make me forgetful. So does old age.
 
**************
 
So, the youths.
 
As you might have gathered from the timing and location, the son graduated university on Saturday. As his roommate's parents and I agreed, where did that four years go? And wasn't I just moving him in to the dorm?
 
(I went a day early to set to moving him out. Because I frequently run operations with military precision, I had the pack, ship, donate and toss piles going in no time, and within a few sweaty hours, we had filled one of two suitcases, packed the box for shipping, taken items to the move-out drive and thrown what need to be thrown. The son was amazed. I also wasn't ill yet.)
 
The spouse and daughter arrived late the following day (the daughter having just finished her first year of college; where did that year go, etc.), and I had the suite I'd rented (with FULL kitchen) stocked with the various necessities to get us through the next several days.
 
And yes, there was foreign royalty (seriously, would I make that up?), and I might have said something about eating certain people for breakfast, the son's girlfriend definitely announced that she wanted to be me when she grew up, and I told her that she could have the job.
 
(Why anyone would want the stress of being me is beyond me, but there you go.)
 
Anyway, in between packing and pomp and circumstance and actually SHUSHING the people behind me during the ceremony (you may attend an elite university, kid, but your manners indicate you were born in a barn), we did some other things (got wet [it's been raining in Washington for something like three weeks], visited Crumbs and Whiskers again [there's a story about that I may write up later], ate at a lot of hyped restaurants [more hype than quality, natch], saw things and played Cards Against Humanity [because we are horrible people]).
 
I also said a lot of things, which mostly ended up as titles for the last week's posts. And yeah, had a birthday Sunday, which did, in fact, involve beignets again, though not a concert.
 
It's a lot easier to travel for a concert. The post travel cold is easier to bear as well.
 
But there you go.
 

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. It's worth noting that I am editing the stuff I posted last week as I go. When I'm on the road, I often post directly from my phone, so I haven't got the ability to include text. Yeah, there was stuff that needs explanation. No, you probably won't get any.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

23 May 2016

40 days and 40 nights


National Airport (DCA)
Washington, D.C.
23 May 2016

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

22 May 2016

Birthday breakfast of champions

 
French press coffee and a Bloody Mary
Founding Farmers
Washington, D.C.
22 May 2016
 
Actually, there were beignets this year, too.
 
And yeah, my family knows me pretty well.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

21 May 2016

The perils of foreign royalty

 
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Washington, D.C.
20 May 2016

The canal actually has been turned into a national historical park, but the only section I really know is the part that runs through Georgetown. I've always wanted to explore more of it, which will require a return trip, but hey. It's my hometown.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. What does this have to do with foreign royalty? Absolutely nothing! That's another story.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

20 May 2016

Another season


Dumbarton Oaks
Washington, D.C.
20 May 2016

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

19 May 2016

Don't worry, I have more degrees than they do


A sign.
Washington, D.C.
19 May 2016

Dorm room door. The sign just amused me. The quote was to do with the swim team members carousing next door.

As they do.

As I do.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

18 May 2016

From a hotel window: Washington, DC

 
A dark alley. In the dark.
Washington, D.C.
18 May 2016

As I sat in DFW that afternoon, I couldn't help but think that I'd been in Dallas exactly a year earlier.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

17 May 2016

Better than the way we had


Snowy spine
27 March 2016

Gods, moment of panic. I realized it was almost 8:30 and the daughter has a final at 10 and had not yet appeared.

Endings, endings. Which invariably lead to beginnings. Somehow four years passed. Somehow a year passed. Somehow I have two adults.

I tell myself: you got them to adulthood. You raised them to be responsible, caring people. You gave them everything you could: every drop of love, every bit of advice, active worry and instruction. Your watch has ended. It's up to them now.

They will succeed. They will fail. You taught them about both. You also tried to teach them about grace. You gave them wings.

Now they have to use them.

Let them use them.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPad.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

11 May 2016

Cutting room floor


Orange County, California
31 January 2015

As I'd mentioned, I've been doing Serious. Life. Clean Up.

That includes purging bad photos. I have photos scattered all over the place. Physical ones, digital ones. In boxes. All over my hard drive. Back-up drives. Thumb drives. SD cards. Phone. iPad. Laptop. And I'm a pretty organized person. But I'm always moving stuff around. So, everywhere.

(Worse yet, I've discovered that some days, I'm an okay photographer. So I've decided to gather up the digital stuff that is frameable and send it off to the lab. Because I need another project. Hey, the plumber has been. That's two things down.)

Anyway, I came across some production stills I'd taken back when the senior project was filming. This place. We secured the permit, did the work...and just about 100% never made it into the final product.

That is how the film business works.

Come to think of it, a considerable bit of my life has ended up in the same place, but it's amazing how stuff you think you'll never use (YES, I did end up using trigonometry in my adult life. Who knew?) comes back around to be useful.

Like those years with Big Entertainment Company.

Who knew?

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. I am having a post-migraine day where I sort of sit around looking stunned like a bird that just flew into a window.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

10 May 2016

Wide open eyes


Sixth Street
Austin, Texas
31 October 2015

I received a bill for surgery from an ear, nose and throat surgeon. I have not had surgery. In fact, the last time I actually had surgery was in 2001. And it was on my eyes.

This isn't going to end, is it?

*******************

Beware the asterisk.

*******************

I am listening to music that makes me cry. I probably need to cry. I don't cry well (or frequently, at all). Music is often the catalyst for tears. Music makes me feel what I don't otherwise allow myself to feel. I wonder if my life would have been different if I didn't internalize everything.

Probably.

******************

I love to write. I love the physicality of it, the pen or pencil against paper, the loop of handwriting, fingers on keys, thought made real. I love the process, the moment I stop and visualize the picture that I want to turn into words, to show the moment that smelled of grass being mown, with the warm sun beating down, the haze over the mountains, the nod of the gardener as I passed. I want to give you the sound of the moment, the way the wall of music pressed itself insistently, electrically against my chest straight into my heart, the breath of instruments from the speakers brushing my hair away from my cheek. The sensation of toes twirling on a wooden stage, feeling old varnish, the bump of a nail, hoping you don't stick mid-turn. I performed a hundred times, but I never heard the audience. I wrote a story about it.

I've always told stories. I wrote my first story at 5. I used every doll in the house to keep my younger siblings amused during the long, hot Arizona summers. I wrote my first novel at 13 and finished four more before college.

And one summer day, I set everything I'd written on fire.

I wrote papers for college, dozens. "Original thought!" wrote one professor. "You need to publish this," wrote another. I wrote a novella. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Short stories, bits and pieces. I kept a journal for 40 years.

A month ago, facing an uncertain future, I shredded it all.

Ten years ago, I started to write here. With a push of a button, I can make it all disappear. But I don't feel the need. Everything else lived in boxes with my name attached. This has long been in the world, anonymous. And for whatever reason, it gets read. By my friends, by my far away son when he needs to hear my voice, by the daughter, by complete strangers who sometimes write me because of something they read.

I have always been a storyteller, but I've never had faith in my own abilities. I am utterly passionate about the things I love and equally about the things that I don't. But I've never wanted people to know that. There are reasons. We all live with the damage that's been done to us.

I chose to write for a living, but I chose the passionless part of writing. I am published myriad places in many ways: as a writer, as a researcher, as an editor. My words live in court documents, company archives, scientific publications, newspapers, textbooks.

And surprisingly, a movie.

In the last year, I've learned that I have good instincts. I don't know if I will take that anywhere, or if I'll just enjoy the knowledge. Maybe I'll find the courage. Maybe I'll find the energy.

My fingers fly over the keyboard in time to the music, and I want to cry, I want to laugh, I want to reach out and embrace everything around me.

Maybe.

Maybe.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. This is one of my favorite photos from Austin. Not only composition, but luck! Playlist included: Ludovico Einaudi ("Divinire," "Primavera," "Eden Roc," "Giorni dispari," and "Time Lapse"), Samuel Sim ("Siren"), among others.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

07 May 2016

So I had that conversation


A thing. Because things happen.*
Austin, Texas
16 May 2015

This blog needs some levity.

I have been cleaning out my email inbox, which I have to do periodically because I end up with like 2,000 archived messages that I don't actually need anymore. I haven't been on the high school conservatory board for almost a year for example! Don't need that stuff!

Anyway, I've been a bit nostalgic because a year ago, D. and I were planning a week of roadtripping. And I found one of the planning emails, and I am sitting here with tears of laughter streaming down my face. When she and I get on a roll, we suddenly start acting like teenagers. In the best possible way.

Edited to protect the innocent and the guilty alike:

Subject: So I had that conversation**

On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 9:01 PM, I wrote:
Because I still need to do that.

And I am now free for the week of May 16-23. Theoretically.

We'll figure out the tickets.

On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 8:38 AM, D. wrote:
Oh.My.God.  Are you serious?

You. Free? For a week?  

What madness is this?

Of COURSE you are more than welcome to stay here for the duration. Or for part of the duration. Or for, you know, until doomsday. 
 
Forgive me, my mind is still boggling from the idea that you will have a WHOLE FREE WEEK.  My god. When was the last time that happened?

On Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 11:19 PM, I wrote:
I'm not sure it's ever happened. I remember taking a long weekend to visit my brother in Florida in 1987...

And vacations don't really count because I'm still rousting people, taking care of whoever's ill, and yes, doing laundry in Europe. Which is definitely less convenient than doing it in California.

So yeah, kinda awesome! You can see I'm taking this "my youngest is about to go to college" stuff seriously.

I would love to stay with you for whatever part of the proceedings it's convenient to do so. So long as I won't be in your way or imposing. But remember I promised you a birthday cake in May to make up for the one I couldn't work out because of circumstances in November? I can make that happen in a very fresh and unmailed fashion! And I didn't even know that Rush would be playing in May!

(I do have a freaky way of knowing shit sometimes, though)

But yeah, so Austin, Dallas, Houston and NOLA...look out.
 
Oh, woman. We are a pair. But hell, par-tay in May.

On Sun, Feb 1, 2015 at 10:39 AM, D. wrote:
No.  Your family "vacations" definitely don't count as a week off.  In fact, I'm pretty sure they count as double time "wife and mom" because 24/7 with fam in small quarters takes some serious strategeries.

I had a huge OMG moment when you reminded me of the cake promise.  Jeez, that is freakish.  In a totally good way, but freakish nonetheless.  I am looking forward to my delicious cake.

I was thinking we could spend Saturday and Sunday in Austin.  Or we could come back to San Antonio after the concert.  Then we could drive up to Dallas on Monday morning. I'll have to drive back to San Antonio after the concert on Monday night.  You could drive back with me, or stay in Dallas and fly to either San Antonio or Houston.  Wednesday morning I'm taking off and driving to Houston.  Then, same thing.  I have to drive back to work after the concert to be at work on Thursday morning.  Then I was going to fly to NOLA on Friday.

Looking at it now. I don't know if you want any part of that hot mess.  As for me, I have never looked forward to anything more than that week.  I mean, it feels like it's been years since I've felt this much anticipation for something wonderful.

 On Feb 1, 2015 10:48 PM, I wrote:
Your plan for the concerts sounds like a good one. I will probably fly into Austin on Friday so that I don't have to do the heart attack thing if my flight gets screwed up like last time. Weirdly, when the spouse had to go to Waco a few weeks ago, he went through the same issue, so I'm really not down with having to do the 3 am flight out of LA, get to Austin by the skin of my teeth again. GAH.

Now, I did just check the Rangers schedule and it happens they will be playing that Sunday afternoon. So there IS that to consider.

Anyway, I'm happy to head back to San Antonio with you after Dallas. I have to bake the birthday cake at some point (do you have a hand mixer? If not, no worries, I can bring mine). Also, I've spent time in Dallas (besides the airport, which I sort of feel is my home away from home) and Austin, and I think I saw enough of Houston last time. I've never been to San Antonio! And I need to have a puffy taco because, you know. Taco. And I'll figure out if it makes more sense for me to fly from Houston to NOLA or just go with you from SA, because the latter would be more fun anyway. But we'll figure that out.

The birthday cake thing: I make the cake from Duncan Hines mix (I can and do make cakes from scratch, but DH still makes the best birthday cake). You get to pick the flavor. I make the buttercream frosting totally from scratch (which is really easy), and it can be flavored also. So, you could have chocolate with chocolate buttercream or white with chocolate buttercream or yellow with vanilla buttercream...you get the idea. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a flop at making frosting roses, so actual decoration is a bit more on the minimalist side. You can think about that. 

Woman, we are going to have an adventure. I haven't felt this giddy in years!

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 6:06 AM, D. wrote:
I forgot about the baseball game!  Can I just please video you singing "Yellow Rose of Texas" during the 7th inning stretch?  We will absolutely have to make the drive up the road Sunday morning. And Austin Friday night does sound like an excellent plan. Or you could land in SA.  Whichever works for you. My itinerary, however, does NOT sound very vacation-worthy.  Take a mental Google Earth fly through of 20 hours of TX before you decide. I do it all the time, but I'm a little crazy.

I'm dreaming of lemon cake with coconut buttercream frosting. And, yeah, DH is the best. 

On Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 12:00 AM, I wrote:
HEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY....do you still have Rock Band?

lmao

I'm throwing out the baseball game as an option. If we have time, GREAT. 

(Do they really sing Yellow Rose of Texas? You know, what I lose in KEY, I make up for in VOLUME. I've pondered all those nights I was standing in front of the audience mikes and wondered if I was the only thing they could hear in their earpieces. Holy shit, what a horrible thought.)

A true story: 

Last year at the conservatory's film night, one of the other parents found a cell phone. I stood on the desk in the atrium of the theater with 400 milling people below, and yelled, "IF YOU LOST YOUR CELLPHONE, PLEASE RETURN TO THE TICKET DESK." The owner, as it turns out, was outside the building and down at the railroad tracks and he heard me just fine.

Anyway, roger on the cake. I've never made coconut buttercream. I may have to practice that one... ;)

Okay, and on the business side, I think tomorrow is the Citi presale for Austin and Irvine, so I will see what I can get.

Adrenaline barfing is go.

And 20 hours through Texas? I have a brand new camera I've barely touched.

On Tue Feb 3, 2015 at 5:57 AM, D. wrote:
Outside the building and down the RR tracks?  Hilarious!  I have no doubt the boys hear you belting it out in concert. Wish I could find the article where Alex mentions how much his earpiece picks up.

So ... road trip!!! This just keeps getting better and better. 

Also, coconut buttercream frosting is just buttercream frosting with flaked coconut plastered on top and the sides. Now if you could figure out a way to toast the coconut ...  

On Tue Feb 3, 2015 at 8:27 AM, I wrote:
Actually they don't hear me anymore because after Kansas City when I figured out where those mikes were, I started just mouthing the words... Too embarrassing.

And toasting coconut is no issue. 5 minutes in the oven (BEFORE it goes on the cake, obvs).

Okay, keep your fingers crossed I get something worthwhile.

On Tue Feb 3, 2015 at 10:15 AM, D. wrote:
I am crossing every part of my anatomy hoping for something decent in the way of tickets. We are spoiled, Chica. Anything less than the first five rows feels like slumming it.

At the Irvine show, if you can't come up with something great, we MUST switch out seats at intermission. I will take the first half, and you take the last.

On Tue Feb 3, 2015 at 2:38 PM, I wrote:
I will NOT!

On Tue Feb 3, 2015 at 5:46 PM, D. wrote:
Will too!


In the end, this whole trip happened almost exactly as we blue-skied it here (you can scan last summer's archives for the posts). We missed the Rangers game because of what happened in Waco that weekend, and I didn't actually have time to make the birthday cake so left D. the ingredients, and then made her a cake in July when she was out here for the Irvine and (unplanned but we did it anyway) L.A. shows. By the time of the actual baking, D. had decided she wanted key lime filling and it DID NOT WORK the way it should have. So technically, I still owe her a cake. And Texas still owes me a Rangers game. The daughter's film is in contention for another Texas festival this summer, so anything can happen.

And tends to.

Did I end up in the pit for the second half of the Irvine show. You bet I did. When D. decides on a course of action...HELLO, WISCONSIN!

And it was epic. As it always is. Because that is how we roll.


Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6. Dedicated to my dearest D., sister of my soul, instigator supreme, partner in crime, getaway driver, without whom, etc. A most fabulous woman who I've been privileged to call my friend for a quarter of my life.
*Things do, in fact, happen. Most frequently when I don't want them to.
**The conversation referenced occurred many times with the spouse and ran along the lines of: "I would like to be out of town [dates]." "Oh God, Rush must be touring again."
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

06 May 2016

Gentlemen on horseback


Williamsburg, Virginia
25 March 2016

These two were lovely, riding up and down Duke of Gloucester street, tipping their hats, waving, stopping to chat with passersby. It's this sort of interaction that's made me love Williamsburg since I was a girl.

I have Ludovico Einaudi playing quietly in the background, hoping that the pleasant memory of the afternoon above and the gorgeous music will help to quiet my mind.

It's hard to pull my head back to some sense of normalcy after spending the last three months in and out of doctor's offices as well as in and out of scanners. I don't want anyone to touch me, look at me, ask me any questions. They don't listen to the answers anyway. 

[...the whole story was here but it's really not for public consumption...]

Alright. Enough of that.

Listening to the Alice Isn't Dead podcast. Love it.

Daughter and I dig Radiohead's "Burn the Witch" video.

Cheerfully shrieking Elle King's "Last Damn Night" at the top of my lungs. Except when I'm listening to it on the trail. (Yes, back on the trail as often as I can be, which isn't often enough because some days I get up and my legs don't work very well, which tends to freak people out.)

Reading a lot of stuff. David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks for the second time (so much going on in his books that rereading them is indicated). The Welcome to Night Vale novel. A novel about the L.A. riots (having trouble there. I remember those days and the smoke in the air a little too well).

I watched Vinyl, which started out great and turned into one tremendous disappointment. The producers forgot that they needed a story to go along with their coke snorting and actors impersonating younger versions of rock stars. I finally finished watching Sonic Highways, and damn if that Dave Grohl didn't impress me again. The man has an original mind and I like smart people who are passionate about sharing what interests them.

I've managed not to see very many movies. Though I have a list as long as my arm that I'd like to see.

Daughter and I went to a screening of senior theses, which was fun. I wanted to get an idea of what they entail since I expect to be called upon to partially finance hers. But that's a few years down the road.

Hey, for the moment it looks like I will live that long. That's something anyway.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D7000. I have post-traumatic doctor syndrome right now, and that's not a joke. Unfortunately, it's not ending anytime soon, but at least the next round probably won't start until June.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.

05 May 2016

Spring in the looking glass


Santa Ana, California
19 March 2015

I've written three different posts to go with this photo, but Mercury is retrograde or something so nothing is getting published.

But news flash! Despite my doctors' best efforts, I still don't have cancer. Not that they know what is wrong (off to another orthopedic surgeon, of course).

Yes, I'm grateful. But also enraged and exasperated.

Onward.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
For the feed reader folk (because you don't see this on the blog sidebar): Talk to me: OutOfTh3Kitchen at gmail dot com. For information on this site's cookie usage, go here.