Friday, September 23, 2011

My Monthy Bill

Yesterday I was noticing that my stomach was really big and that it had gotten really FAT all of the sudden, and I could not get FULL, and everything anybody did, was making me want to scratch their eyeballs out.  I dismissed this as yet another set of personality flaws on my part, and I did sit ups until my back hurt, and then I ate an entire pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup.

That night I decided to have one and a half glasses of wine, because much to my dismay, Brad wanted a glass and all we had was a little more than half a bottle of red left, so what I am saying is, that I would have had MORE because I am COOL like that, but I was too exhausted to go and get some because I had used up everything in my tank, going to the abbreviated Whole Foods twice for cream for my coffee in the morning, because the first time I got "Fraunch Vanilla" which I discovered when I got home, and it made me want to tear the eyeballs out of the sockets of everyone at the Whole Foods. I mean, "Why didn't anybody STOP me?  I HATE Fraunch Vanilla anything!"

So, Brad comes home and I bare my teeth at him and tell him it has been 48 hours since I have showered and that I have worked out twice in that period.  "Good to see you, too, dear," he retorts as he reaches for the only bottle of red wine in the house.  I suddenly have an Ally McBeal moment (even though I hate that show and that stupid dancing baby.  What WAS that anyway?  I'll tell you what it was.  It was stupid.) where I jump on him like a Mama Puma and slice his chest open with my claws until he loosens his grip on the bottle, and I am able to take it from him and then I tip it up and drink it like it is blood (as I have now morphed into a werewolf) and it runs all down my neck and chest.

So, Hallie has to go to Hip Hop, which is thoroughly irritating because I am ready to get into my house pants and I realize that I have to get back in the car AGAIN and take her to hip hop, and then I am going to have to pick her up from it, forty-five minutes later.  I guess I could sit in the waiting room and make idle bullshit, like all the other Moms, or read a book in the car, like the Moms like me, but I wouldn't care if gas were $25 a gallon.  I am going to race home to get a few things done and then race back 10 minutes later. And that is everyones else's fault but mine.

Of course, I come home to my cold dinner that I eat standing up and I clean up the mess that everyone has left behind and I contemplate taking a shower, but I am too tired, so I wash my face and pits, in that order, (I am not THAT ghetto) and I crawl into bed with a glass of wine and my GQ magazine.

I start to feel kinda drunk after I have finished my glass, so I pour the rest of the bottle in, which is about two tablespoons, to chase the high, and I fall asleep before I finish it.

I wake up at 6:45, like I always do, to have 15 minutes to myself, and I become newly enraged because my coffee pot did not come on and I have to press the ON button.  Then, I hear what are unmistakably, Eva's footsteps on the stairs because she jumps with both feet on each step, and the dog starts to whine loudly, and is going ballistic in her crate.

I want to drop to the floor and gather in my knees so as to mimic the fetal position and chant softly (like Jennaaayyy in Forrest Gump, remember?)  "Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far....far, far away.  Dear God..."

I plaster a fake smile across my face and say, "Hi punkin!  You hungry?  Whaddayou want to eat?"

Eva responds her usual reply, "Whaddo you HAVE?"

"Here, hon, let me go get the Ipad for you.  I got it all charged up!  And then I'll turn on your show, Okay?"

Mother of the Year.  Locked up, again.  Dese bitches in Arlington don't have a chance.

"Where are YOU gonna be?" Eva whines.

Dear God, make me a bird...

"I'm gonna be downstairs with my coffee, for just a few minutes, watching the boring news.  You would be soooooo bored, you might fall back asleep, and you wouldn't want THAT would you?"

Just 5 minutes by myself, fully caffeinated.  I'll be a new person.  I swear.

"What is the news gonna be about, Mama?"  Eva looks up at me with those big brown eyes.

I am starting to soften now, for I have managed to slam down three gulps of coffee, like I am playing Chandeliers.  "Well, today is really SPECIAL for Mommy, because the interviewer is asking this man named Brad Pitt questions about something really stupid (I catch myself here and tell her not to use that word, that it is a MOMMY word) in an interview in a magazine, and Mommy wants to watch Mr. Pitt squirm like Scarlett is doing right now on the carpet because she wants her belly rubbed."

"Oooooohhhhhh,"  Eva's wheels are turning.  "What did the man say that was so stupid?"

I am simultaneously rescued and attacked by the sounds of four more feet bounding down the stairs.  "Dammit!  No time to myself.  Better go and record The Today Show if I am going to get any enjoyment out of this day," I think. 

Needless to say, I get the kids out the door and drop Eva off and go to my friend Cindy's house to work out (that's CFit for those of you who need a good trainer) with my friend Kim.  I am starting to feel better...more like myself, but I still have zero perspective.

After my workout, I stop at the Giant Eagle Supasto' because I am craving Indian food and do a little light shopping (i.e. buy a bunch of interesting looking crackers and some fruit for my kids, and a new pepper grinder).  I am unconsciously doing little things that will make me happy, but I am completely unaware of this - thus, the use of the word unconsciously - DUH.

So, finally, I get home and I am super surprised to find that I have received my monthly bill. No, not Nordstroms.  Noooo......not T.J. Maxx, either.  Hint: my Mother calls it this and it makes me mental. Thhhaaattttsss rrrriiiiiiggggghhht.  It's my period.  I have had my monthly bill for over two and a half decades, religiously, each month, with the exception of my three pregnancies, and I am still as astounded each month, when it arrives, as I was the first time I ever had one.  It is mind blowing to me.

The bloating.  The inextinguishable rage.  The bottomless pit that is your appetite.  The unexpected napping.  (I will fall asleep like an old person in a nursing home.) The drop in hygiene.  The inability to tolerate even small amounts of alcohol.  (I read somewhere that women  experience larger concentrations of blood alcohol right before they get their periods, due to hormone shifts, and I have noticed this in myself on occasion.  It is always in hindsight, though, because I obviously have no idea each month when my period is coming.)  And finally, the 28- 32 days that elapse between each "bill".

I was thinking today as I was getting dressed after finally showering, that I should come out with a line of clothing called "Monthly Bill".  I was rummaging through my closet, trying to find the most pajama-like outfit I could find, to not only hide my enormous stomach, but that will make me happy during such an unhappy time.  I wanted something soft, and dark, and stretchy, and not binding.  I came up with this outfit and it made me very happy, but it also got me to thinking.  There are yoga clothes and maternity clothes, and hiking apparel, and clothing for just about every activity and mood a gal might engage in.  But, where or where, I ask you is the Periodwear?  Why hasn't anyone ever thought of this before?
They're called mu mu's, Y'all!

I am forced to endure erectile dysfunction commercial after erectile dysfunction commercial, every time a sporting event is on television, but I can't talk about bleeding once a month? Menstruation or Ministration, as my high school health teacher used to pronounce it, is just simply just an integral part of the reproductive system that enables women to bear children.  If men had periods, all this nonsense would be a non-issue.  It is insane if you really think about it. 

I really HATE the fact that we, as women, are expected to hide the fact that we are on our period.   They are always marketing to us, some way to disguise our pads and tampons, so that, I guess, we do not OFFEND anyone else.  Well, at least half of the population either is getting, will get, or has gotten their period on a regular basis, and the other half is at least AWARE that we are capable of having a period, so what is all the secrecy about, people?

My friend, Kim, told me this story about this friend of hers, (no, I am not covering up for Kim) that was on her period, and this guy she had been crushing on, asked her on a tennis date.  She took great care to wear her hair sporty, and went and bought a new tennis dress and stuff, and (for some reason) she was wearing one of those big thick pads.  Well, she is a pretty good tennis player, so she was all over the court, displaying her skills, and she almost beat this guy, until she realized that it would crush his fragile male ego, and thus ruin her chances of a second date, and the eventual marriage and kids she had already begun imagining.

So, the match is over and he says he'll call and she goes to the restroom and her pad is gone.  She is MORTIFIED.  She goes back to the court, and looks all around and cannot find it.  Just as she is about to leave, she notices that the pad is stuck to her tennis shoe.  And just as you have probably suspected...the guy never called her again.  Classic.

Anyway, when I lived in Texas, I had these decorative blue Mason jars I would keep in my bathroom.  There was this little indented area that was perfect for all of my bath condiments and I used to keep my tampons in one of them.

My best friend, Angela, used to make fun of me because we only had one bathroom and it was also the bathroom that all guests had to use.  She said it was "disgusting" and "suggestive" to display my tampons.

I would always respond that if she were "accusing me of 'suggesting' that I had gotten my period, then I am guilty, and people should assume that anyway."

Now, many fine restaurants actually offer tampons to their female guests in their restrooms, along with mouthwash and hairspray. That final step of integration has not yet been achieved, though, and this is what I am driving at.  I will not be satisfied until ALL restrooms, public and private have feminine wipes and Midol.  I have decided that I am going to make it my J.O.B. to demystify the whole "monthly bill"  issue and I am starting by breaking out my old decorative Tampon Jar and displaying it front and center in my guest bath downstairs.

That is, right after I have the talk with my three daughters about what tampons are actually used for.  And then the inevitable conversation that is to follow about why it is necessary that a woman have a period.  And then the conversation right after that where I break down teen pregnancy and STD's.

Oh, to Hell with it.  I'll just hide my tampons in the cabinet where I have always kept them, and continue to act as if I have a secret meeting in there fifty times a day for a week each month.

Let some Gloria Steinem with tween girls lead that march.  I'm too exhausted...and hungry...and bloated.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Anniversary Issue

This is my 100th Post, beeeaaaattttcccccheeess!  I thought I would commemorate it with one of those 25 Things You Might Not Know About Me things, even though my blog is basically ALL ABOUT ME, sort of....when it is true, that is.  You may find it amazing that I can actually come up with twenty-five MORE things to tell you about myself after 100 posts, but unfortunately this blog is the proverbial gift that just keeps on givin'.

Soooo, here goes, no exaggerating, no embellishment.  Well, maybe a little.  I'll do my best.  Hope you enjoy.

1.  I used to LOVE to cook, before I had three children.  They have squelched THAT pleasure, among many other things I used to enjoy, like oh, I don't know, ALONE TIME and Project Runway.

2. My biggest regret in life is that I did not travel Europe after I graduated, or study abroad.  Isn't that bizarre?  Considering I am  FRAUNCH.

3.  My favorite place that I ever lived was Boulder, Colorado.  (Self Explanatory.)  My favorite people live in Texas.  (They always go out with the intention of having a good time.)

4. All of my teachers in high school used to tell me that "I had to work at it," whereas, my brother's intelligence "came naturally to him."  Gotta LOVE public school in Kentucky, in the 80's.  They were keepin' it REAL back then.  I have since confirmed several staff/student intimate relationships at that time, so tact and scruples, not to mention decency and statutory rape laws, were not exactly a priority for them!

5. My best friend is getting a divorce and there is nothing I can do to take the pain away, but listen, and it kills me.

6. Every time I have the opportunity to make a wish, whether it be a stray eyelash (we always make a wish, do you? You should.) or candles on a birthday cake - I wish that my family will always be healthy and happy.

7. I have anxiety, but I work on it everyday.  Do you like my blog?  Why don't you like my blog?  How about this post?  Do you like this post?  What in particular, do you like about it?

8. My mother needs a kidney, but she will not even let me get tested to see if I am a match.  I am scared that I am a match, but I want her to have a better quality of life, so I am ready to give her one.  Soo...if you know anyone who has a third kidney....we'd be interested.

9. My Dad is the reason that I love and hate sports.  I love playing them, but I hate watching them.  Major bummer for Brad because that is all he does is watch sports.  If HBO and SHOWTIME did not have series, we would no longer be married.

10.  When I was young, I ran into a corner of two walls while running down a hall, and I split my forehead open and got 14 stitches.  It deadened the nerves there, and it is the reason I do not need botox in my forehead. Cindy Tzagournis wants me to get it anyway because she says women my age should not be able to move their eyebrows. "It just looks unnatural".

11.  I used to think that I would never love Scarlett (my dog who blew my knee out) more than my beloved deceased dog, Elaine... but I do.

12.  One of the best decisions I ever made was to marry my husband, Brad.  I was sure then, and I am sure now.  Even though I don't act like it once a month.  Sorry, Boo.

13. My Dad taught me how to serve in tennis.  It is very fast, but very wild.  One of the saddest days in my life was when he told me he was too old to play with me anymore.  One of the saddest days in Christina McKenna's life was when she was told that she was to be my partner.  Hey, everyone, including my partner, needs to be hyper aware, when I am serving.  It might be coming to you.  Even if you are on my side of the court.

14.  I used to fight with my Mother every time we would shop together when I was in high school and college, but now we like the same things, and she loves to buy them for me.  I am determined to break the cycle, so everyday when my 10-year-old, Hallie, leaves for school wearing the latest fashions that the "Shake It Up" collection at Target has to offer (I am a firm believer that if you own a shirt that has an attached vest that ties in the front, you should rethink your wardrobe choices), I wince a little and then let it go.  Pick your battles, right?

15.  I learned how to decorate from my Mother and my Mother-in- Law. 

16.  I hate Madame Alexander dolls because my Mom and her friends used to collect and obsess over them.  My Mom keeps giving them to my daughters and they love them.  I purposely avoid their steely gaze whenever I am in their rooms.

17. I would rather have people over, than go out.  Even if my house is messy.

18.  I make a killer chili.  It has jalapenos in it and is served in a bread bowl over rice.  It is a hybrid of Texas and Colorado.

19.  I hemorrhaged with my first child, Hallie, and almost had a blood transfusion.  I had to sign a paper before I went into surgery for a DNC the day after my C-section that consented to a procedure that might keep me from having any more children.  I have three, thank GOD, but it was a very scary time for us.  My Mom remembered that she had hemmorhaged with me, shortly after that.  Woulda have LOVED to have known that when I asked her her medical history, when I was first pregnant!  Oh well, if I have learned anything while being a parent, everything is always the Mother's fault, even when you are thirty.

20.  I am ambivalent about aging, so far.  I recognize that it is happening, but I am too busy to care.

21.  All of my favorite memories involve my family, good and bad.  I believe that the measure of a person is how they deal with the bad things in life, because it is easy to be your best when things are good.

22.  I believe that everyone exists on a spectrum, in terms of doing things that are right and wrong.  No one is all good, or all bad, we all just vacillate between the two, except serial killers and pedophiles, of course.

23.  I think jelousy is the worst emotion anyone can feel.  Nothing good can come of it.

24.  I hate experiencing what it means to be a girl in adolescence with my three girls.  It is infinitely more difficult  than what I experienced, and it is one thousand times more awkward and hurtful.

25.  I would like to be a writer one day (i.e. get published) but if I don't - that's OKAY.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading my blog, it has given me a HUGE boost of confidence, and I am extremely grateful for all of the support and sharing of the posts.  It was a big leap of faith for me, and I think it has worked out because I am blessed with a large community of family and friends who believe in me.  I have to go now, though, because I am due to translate my blog into other languages and I don't want to be late.  Just kidding.  You all know there is an app for that.  Take care and thanks again.  You all are the BEST!!!!!!

The pic above was taken on the first vacation Brad and I took alone together after having Hallie. It is one of my favorite pictures of myself (if I can say that without sounding like a douche) because I was fancy from head to toe, and that almost never happens now.  I am also ten years younger.  So, please know that this picture is NOT representative of what I look like now.  I have gone WAY down hill, and have become a huge hag.  (It is like those people who use pictures of from a long time ago for their Facebook Profile picture.  Hilarious.)
Letting myself go.

ANYWAY, Brad's friend and mentor, David Dunlap, surprised us upon arrival to our hotel, on that vacation, with a round of golf for him, and a "day of beauty" for me.  It is the first and last time I have ever had my hair done professionally.  I guess not everyone lies on a spectrum... some of us are just GOOD.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It just sounds so GOOD!

Me and My Buds at JazzAspenSnomass

For Labor Day Weekend, Brad and I visited Denver, Aspen, and Snowmass- with two other couples. One of these couples, (we'll just call them "The Gillies") grew up in Arlington, Ohio, and moved to Denver from Granville, Ohio, and the other couple is the Whybrews (allegedly), our friends here in Westerville. The boys all grew up in Arlington together, and the girls all get along great, just by happenstance.  We used to have a regular trip with them in the Spring, but this year we decided to go and visit The Gillies, out in Colorado. The JazzAspenSnowmass was the "impetus" for the trip, but if we were all just honest with ourselves, it was really just an excuse for us to reunite and do what we do best - go on a three day bender, while we listened to live music, instead of our iPod.

Ok, let's break this baby down into categories:
1. Denver, Revisited
2. Aspen and Malachi
3. Snowmass and the Celebrity Sighting
4. The Jazzfest - Steely Dan and The Zac Brown Band
5. Why I LOVE America

Denver, Revisted

My beloved City Park

Okay, Brad and I stayed the night in downtown Denver on Thursday night.  Scott Gillie had a "business meeting" right near us, so he met us for drinks at our hotel, late afternoon.  This may or may not have altered our reality later.  I cannot be sure.  After Scott left, we showered, got ready for dinner, which included my continuous warnings to Brad to "layer up" as we were "back in Colorado", for I had been tuning in to, on a continuous basis all week, which had indicated that the nights would be "chilly".

Brad was wearing a fleece jacket on top of at least two layers, and I had a long robe-like sweater on, when we exited our hotel.  The first sign we saw was a homeless woman in a bikini top.  We continued to walk.  My brow and upper lip started to sweat.  I began noticing that everyone walking around was in shorts and flip flops when Brad exclaimed, "I'm HOT.  Let's go back to the hotel."

We promptly turned around and entered the freezing cold, air conditioned dining room and ordered more cocktails.  CLASSIC.

The next day, (don't worry, I remember my promise), we headed out to our old stomping ground, City Park, to see if our duplex had been renovated.  Here is what we found.  The second picture is the porch I used to sit on to watch the Ho Parade.

Our ghetto home

My pathetic patio

It was as if time had stopped.  There's just nothing as charming as a chain-link fence, is there?  Next we went to City Park.  It is pretty much the same, but a little more user friendly.  There are still homeless people sleeping on benches, and catching their meals in the ponds adjacent to the lake, but I spied Disney World-like features like this one, that were not there before.

A curious addition 

That afternoon, we picked up The Whybrews at the airport and traveled to the Gillies house in Evergreen.  I wish I had had the presence of mind to take pictures of it, but I didn't.  It might have been awkward anyway, though.

Anne and Scott's house could be in "Colorado Magazine".  It was exquisite.  They are going to move, though, because they hate their neighbors, and frankly, because Anne gets bored easily.  Scott drove his awesome Jeep with the three boys, and I drove the girls to Aspen.  I laughed until my sides hurt.  The boys kept driving up beside of us, mimicking us, by mime laughing and slapping their legs and stuff.  They are so stupid.  We knew they couldn't possibly be having as much fun as us, though, because the Jeep is really loud, and they wouldn't talk about anything of any importance if they could hear each other anyway.  By the end of our trip, each of us girls had experienced every emotion on the spectrum.  Aren't women awesome?  Pic below is at the Continental Divide, reminds me so much of Hocking Hills.  NOT.

Kim, Paul, Me, Brad


Brad, the poser

So we stayed at The Gant, in Aspen, and we met up with some friends of Anne and Scott's there, Janine and Ralph.  Without going into too much detail, they live on a Catamaran, with their two small children, most of the year, and then Aspen the rest of the year.  I could never quite figure out how they made a living, but I overheard Ralph saying that he was doing paperwork in his office one morning, so he does something other than sail and ski, I am just not sure what That is.

Okay, the night we went out in Aspen, Janine and Ralph, showed up with her 18-year-old nephew, Malachi.  Of course, that is not his real name, it is the nickname we all bestowed upon him, behind his back, (I never absorbed his birth name, natch.  Why bother.) because (yes) he was a dead ringer for Malachi, from the movie "Children of the Corn".  It was disturbing, to say the least.  He is probably one of the most off-putting people on the planet, to boot.  Let me put it this way, I was OVER Malachi within about 30 seconds of meeting him.

Malachi is one of those adolescents, who thinks that everything that comes out of his 18-year-old mouth is a revelation to those around him.  I mean, when was the last time an 18-year-old said something prophetic to you, that actually had takeaway value?  Oh, I know!  Call on me!  When I was under 18.

Malachi trapped me several times, and on one occasion went on and on about how he had "never had to pay for weed in his life" and that "he was at a crack house just the other day" and he "actually didn't go in, but sent someone else in for him" and then that said crack house was featured on the news "THREE DAYS LATER" because it was "ON FIRE, DUDE!"

"Really, I used to be a social worker in Denver, "  I trumped, "I used to conduct BUSINESS in crack houses."  I feigned boredom.  BOOM.  Take THAT Malachi.  You've probably never paid for weed in your life because people are afraid you are going to off them with your razor sharp corn husker, you douche.

We endured Malachi's nonsense all night, including his backward jump off of the top of a swing set, until he stopped being tolerable when we were denied entrance into a bar, because he was underage.

me, Anne, and Kimmy
 Moving on.  The next day, we hiked up the Ute in the foothills of Aspen.  It was switchback after switchback (zigzag), all the way up.  I had missed my friends, Kim, Anne and Scott, leaving for the hike, because I was eating a very large breakfast by myself, as I actively engaged in people-watching that rare breed that is "Aspenites", and I could not break away.  My favorite past time is called "Find the Texan".  It's not that hard.  Just look for the gigantic engagement ring and then connect it to it's Sugar Daddy.

Anyway, I went up the hill by myself to catch up to my Buds, and I found them about ten minutes from the top, on their way down.  I thought I was going to die, my heart was pounding so hard.  I had foolishly brought my coffee instead of anything hydrating, so they gave me the rest of their Gatorade and asked me the question that every person I had encountered on the trail that day, had asked me before them.  "Is that coffee?????"

So, they told me that I only had ten minutes to go, which I found out later is the time frame Scott gave everyone at varying points of their journey up the mountain. Whenever anyone would ask, "How much longer?" panting, as we passed them on their way up the mountain.  Whether they were just starting out, or midway through, Scott would always respond, "About ten more minutes," and they would breathe an exaggerated sigh of relief, and thank him,  and then when they were out of earshot, we would giggle our asses off.

ANYWAY, what I am TRYING to get to is that I passed Kim, Anne and Scott on the mountain as they were descending and I was ASCENDING, and I was clearly in trouble physically, so I bid them ADIEU, cause I'm FRAUNCH, and as I turned my 1000th switchback, I was delighted to see Scott, right behind me.  He had left the girls to go down the mountain and came to find me to escort me UP the mountain that he had just hiked.  THAT is a friend.  My heart melted.  Here are the pictures we took at the top.  I am not sure I would have made it without him.  There is a good chance I would have just lied and told everyone how beautiful the view was when I got back, after I sat down and waited out the "ten minutes" it would have taken to reach the top.  It took twenty, natch.

Me, Breathless

Scott, not even winded

Snowmass and the Celebrity Sighting

So after our hike, we drove the ten miles to our NEXT amazing destination, our condo, in Snowmass.  We stayed at Capital Peak Lodge, which was a breathtaking, newly renovated condo complex, located at the Base of Snowmass Mountain.  Our only complaint was that it was difficult to find our condo, at first, but this may have been due to the fact that we were all operating on 1 cylinder.

One of the funniest things, and there were MANY on this trip, believe me, was that Paul Whybrew, when put in charge of a beer run, before we went to our condo, actually bought NON-ALCOHOLIC Coors!  As if THAT is not hilarious enough, (I had never even drank non-alcoholic beer when I was PREGNANT!)  the boys actually HAD a few before they realized what they were drinking!  God, that is STILL freshly hysterical to me.  Is it to you?  We were a big, steaming pot of hot mess, fo sho!

Paul, drinking alcoholic beer...Love him!

I cannot express what a gorgeous condo this was.  It was a three bedroom, updated gorgeous, ski in, ski out condo that included a pass for the duration of your stay to the Snowmass Athletic Club.  Kim, Paul, Brad and I decided to check out their pool, which Anne had described as "amazing" and it did not disappoint.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by flavored water and fresh fruit, and for us, a celebrity sighting of none other than Miss Aspen, herself, Goldie Hawn!  She passed right by us, and I overheard KURT say, "Ya ready, Hon?" and she responded by singing in her cute, perky voice, "Reeeaaaddddy!"  I caught her profile on her way out, and unfortunately, for her,  her lips looked like a character from Fish Hooks, the show my kids watch. Pity.

At the hot tub, we met this really nice couple from Denver, and he was telling us that the Athletic Club, (which has lodging, as well) runs specials whenever there is a concert in Snowmass.  Apparently, when Phish, the band, was there, the tranquil, immaculate, Zen pool that we encountered at the Club, was transformed into a modern-day Woodstock Revival, where there was not a spot on the tony slate deck of the pool to be found, and the pool was positively FILLED with dirty hippies smoking pot.  Needless to say, The Snowmass Athletic Club will not be running that special again. I was immediately reminded of that scene in Caddyshack, when the Caddies invade the pool at Buschwood.  LOVE stories like that.

The Jazzfest - Steely Dan and The Zac Brown Band

Jazzfest in the Daytime

Okay.  The boys all love Steely Dan.  So does Kim.  She also likes Stella beer like them, but that is where her masculinity ends, thank God.  I remember Steely Dan as being unhip music that came out when I was listening to Lucky Star, by Madonna - a thorn in my side if you will.  Something that I would endure on my mini boom box until "Hey Mickey" came on.

The boys

Everyone else was totally into it.  Those Arlington boys just loves them some classic rock!  Here is some hilarious footage I found on YouTube.  This is for you, Brad, Scott, and Paul!  See how they are dressed funny?  That is because they were performing decades ago, when they were actually POPULAR.  Ya' dig?

Just so you understand, I thought up until this concert, I thought the lyrics to this song were, "Are you reeling in the yeast, throwin' away the thyme, are you gatherin' up the cheese, have you had enough of mine," and it was about making bread. 

I sang these lyrics, at the top of my lungs, during the concert, for all my friends and those who I did not know, surrounding me, for their amusement.  Or not.  Who cares.

Me and the adorable toddlers!
 The pic above is one that Kim took because I was having trouble working my camera.  It may be difficult to see, but it is a pack of young people (probably in their early twenties) with fur animal hats and paws on as they wildly danced.  They were dancing and giggling and having a great time, and I was entranced by them, because they seemed to embody YOUTH, to me.

I am in the picture on the left.  I told them I needed a picture with them to show my girls, but of course I was thinking of YOU, my audience, and my blog. 

At one point, a cougar, I mean the real kind, with a breast augmentation, and Juvederm, stole one of their animal furs and was dancing provocatively with it on, in a red dress suitable for Studio 54.  All of the toddlers, watched her in disgust for a while, and then collectively, took their hats off, so as to not be mistaken for a half-breed like her.  Hilarious.

Way to ruin the moment for everyone, ya' old coug'. 

Okay, my two favorite quotes of the weekend came from each concert, and were apparent knee-jerk, emotional responses, to the musical stimuli being presented to them.  During the Steely Dan concert, 
an older woman, whom I actually met later at an apre party in a vintage trailer (It was Jeanine and Ralph's, natch.), actually screamed out during the song Hey Nineteen, "I LOVE YOU, STEELY DAN!" and then gathered herself as she looked around her to see if anyone had just witnessed her regression back into a teenage groupie.  We had.  We all stood around her with our mouths agape, and then uncontrollable laughter followed.

Yes, it became my mantra, and I yelled out, "I LOVE YOU, STEELY DAN!" and "I LOVE YOU, ZAC BROWN BAND!" more times than I should have been aloud to, but to me, it just kept getting funnier.

  I just love gutteral concert exclamations, don't you?  Listen for them at your next concert.  They are priceless.

And, Finally...Why I LOVE America

Now, I've been to my share of Zac Brown Band concerts and I know some of the set lists.  On this one, in particular, is "America the Beautiful," which is my favorite patriotic song to date, oh, except "God Bless the USA."  Not.

Anyway, let me set the stage.  It is dusk.  We are surrounded by mountains.  The portable stage is lit up like fireworks.  Zac goes into "America, the Beautiful".  Someone in the front, middle of the crowd raises this enormous American Flag and begins waving it, while we sing one of my favorite songs on the cusp of the 10th Anniversary of the most tragic event of my generation, and tears well up in my eyes.  "Nothing could be more perfect than this,"  I think to myself, as I sing and sway in time with the flag.  It is one of the most moving and patriotic things I have ever experienced.

"It just sounds so GOOD!" a concert-goer yells from behind me.  I immediately recognize this voice to be my husband's.  He adopts this kind of high pitched, throaty, hyena-like "concert yelp" whenever he sees someone live and he is enjoying them. It is beyond bizarre, and yet mesmerizing, at the same time.  Anyone who knows him well, knows EXACTLY what I am talking about.

I wheel around and ask him if he was, in fact, the person who just told, um, everyone, and no one in particular that he likes the way Zac Brown sounds.

I responded with, "I LOVE YOU ZAC BROWN!!!" and then I started all that bullshit again.

I laughed until I crossed my legs and then it was time to hobble to the port-a-potty.  Damn kids!  I'll never be able to hold my pee, again.  And this is a serious travesty to someone who drinks a lot of coffee (and liquids in general) and likes to laugh.

I could not find any video of that moment (the flag waving and the song, not Brad's hilarious exclamation), and maybe it's just as well, but the footage above gives you an idea, and it is one of my favorite songs.

If you can make it to Snowmass or Aspen in the summer.  DO IT!!!!  I lived in Colorado a combined three years and the summertime is where it's at.  I could not believe the deal we got in Snowmass for our condo.  According to the dude we met at The Snowmass Athletic Club, I mentioned above, two weeks after Labor Day is the cheapest ever, and then they literally close down until the "Turning of the Aspens".

At the condo, we got rides from the staff everywhere.  There was a shuttle that went around town, and a gondola, but all we had to do was call our guy and he was happy to take us anywhere we wanted.  Let me know if you need any more details, and as always.... Thanks for playin'.