On with my travelogue! And yes, Alan Rickman will figure into it eventually. I am not just pimping his name to inflate his cloud, I promise you.
OK. Saturday morning. Soccer Boy woke me up at ungodly o’clock. I got ready, and then I gave the puzzle to Soccer Boy so he could reset it. He did, saying with a smirk, “At least I didn’t solve it before resetting it” and then handed it to me. I replied something to the effect of, “If you did, I’d have to kill you.” Then this sweet boy looked at me and told me not to bury him “there” (and he pointed outside) because there are rocks there. We then spent about a half an hour riffing on burying his body in Jersey (Kel has a friend who lives there).
Then, Kel came down and made the beignets. Oh my god. It’s like a little slice of heaven doing a happy dance in my mouth. Nom nom nom beignets and powdered sugar–a great way to start the day.
Then, I got to watch the highly-amusing drama of Punk Girl sullenly moving around while slowly waking up and Irish Dancer racing around because she’s late, she’s late, for a very important date! Then, we were off to the soccer fields which were an hour away.
Kel is the team photographer, so we sat in the end-zone. Oh, wait, back the truck up!
Kel gave me my birthday prezzies in the morning, and they were goooood. First is the t-shirt I am wearing right now. It’s black (of course), with a snowwoman on it. She has her stick hands on her hip and is giving attitude. It says, “SNOW GIRL” right under her. I’ve been wearing it ever since Kel gave it to me. Next up was the second LOLCat book. Since I love the website and I have the first book, it was great to get the second. Last up was a gorgeous handmade journal from the Dominican Republic. It’s beautiful. She rocks.
On the soccer fields, Punk Girl and I had sports chairs and were lounging as Kel sat on the ground and took pics. Irish Dancer was walking someone’s very friendly black…poodle? Help me out, Kel. The game was fast and furious. Soccer Boy played his ass off, but his teammates, not so much. It was fascinating to be a Soccer Aunt for one morning, in part because I’ve never been part of that scene. It was…strange for me. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Soccer Boy do his thing and joke with Punk Girl while watching Irish Dancer dance an Irish…jig? during the halftime. I had a blast as I got a sunburn (or sun rash. I’m actually leaning towards the latter) on my thighs.
Punk Girl had to bring a drink to her brother, and I was getting frustrated watching her walk. She’s a striking, stunning girl who just shrinks into herself as she walks in public. I scolded her for it, partly because I know what it’s like to want to disappear from view. I told her to own her space. When Irish Dancer walks, every eye is on her. She owns her space, and she swishes her hips as she walks. Not on purpose, but as Kel said, she shouldn’t be walking in any narrow corridor. I told Punk Girl, “Chin up and boobs out.” Irish Dancer said that her dance teacher told them the same thing. She said you have to roll your shoulders, and she demonstrated. Only, she added a little pop at the end. So, for the rest of the weekend, we all joked about rolling and popping. “You just have to roll…and POP!”
Our team lost 2-0, and Soccer Boy was really pissed. When we got back, we females flew to get our shit ready for the trip to Norfolk. Soccer Boy was about to take a shower. After I was done gathering my stuff, I started in on the puzzle again. Soccer Boy smirked and snarked at me, so I advanced upon him. He ran into the garage, and I locked the door. He went around to the front, but it was locked as well. Now, it was my turn to smirk at him. He started ringing the doorbell, and I was about to let him in so Kel wouldn’t have to come down, but Irish Dancer stomped down the stairs to let him in. After I threatened him some more, he went to take his shower.
Finally, we women left. Soccer Boy stayed behind, and he texted his mom sometime during the trip asking why I didn’t take the puzzle with me. I told her to tell him because I wanted to enjoy the trip, thankyewverymuch.
First up, we went to pick up Kel’s sister, whom I shall call Rose because she gave each of us a beautiful yellow rose, signifying friendship right before we went to bed that night. It was a thoughtful gesture, which is an indication of her generous nature.
Let me be frank with you. I was most nervous about meeting Rose because she’s not wacky like the rest of us. I was worried about offending her (yeah, yeah, it’s a common refrain of mine), but when she smiled at me and hugged me tightly as we met, I knew it was going to be all right. OK, I didn’t really, but it eased some of the tension inside of me. She has a dry, wicked sense of humor, and she can deliver a zinger with the most deadpan look on her face. She’s very down to earth, and she seemed to get a kick out of my zaniness.
A confession: I am not fond of road trips. We did them when I was younger, most notably to Yellowstone Park, but I get motion sickness (ginger pills for plane travel, yo. It’s much better than Dramamine), so I don’t like to be in a car for that long. Plus, I can’t read (because of the motion sickness), and the idea of spending that much time enclosed in a car with my family gives me the heebie jeebies.
To my surprise, the four hours felt like nothing. We laughed and chatted and joked and helped Irish Dancer with her crossword puzzles. Her mom gave her a brain teaser book in the hopes that Rose, Kel, and I could have an adult conversation. Irish Dancer smiled at her mom and patted her on the cheek and said, “You keep dreaming, sweetie” when Kel said that to her. Irish dancer is an inch taller than her mom and has a very impressive presence. I cracked up when Kel related this story to me.
Anyway, Irish Dancer hates crossword puzzles because she’s not good at them, but, once she started one, she couldn’t stop. Plus, she was doing the puzzles in order, and she couldn’t skip any of them. I completely understood this as I have esoteric rules like that in my head, too. I happen to be really good at crossword puzzles. The NYT Sunday crossword got to be too easy for me after I did hundreds of them. Rose has an English minor. Kel is a teacher with an English background. In other words, we fucking rocked the crossword puzzles. Punk Girl, meanwhile, was in the back texting and presumably listening to music. Much hilarity ensued as Irish Dancer would say something like, “I need a three-letter word that means something on your head. It starts with an H and ends with a T.” OK, I’m exaggerating, of course, but it was funny.
We were having a blast helping Irish Dancer with her crossword puzzles, even though I was tweaking Kel by doing my OCD alphabet thing. If Irish Dancer said she needed a word that was blank A-R-T (made-up example), I would go through the alphabet and put each letter in the front. Therefore, I would mumble, “bart, cart, dart, fart, gart, hart” until I hit the right answer. I told you briefly the story of me trying to rhyme gelid with a color (I will get more to that when I hit that part of the story, chronologically).
The brain power flying back and forth in that van was amazing. It always excites me to be around people with brains, and these women had them in spades.
The drive was fun. We stopped early on at Sheetz to fuel up and get food. We don’t have Sheetz in MN, so I was fascinated by it. They have an in-store burger making thing going on. I had a turkey pretzel sandwich which was awesome and their fries which rocked. I also got chocolate because woman cannot live on savory foods alone–at least this woman can’t. The drive was so much fun, I would actually do it again. That’s saying a lot.
When we hit Norfolk with the help of Joe, Kel’s Aussie GPS, it was already 6:30 p.m. The concert was at 7:30 p.m., so we decided to forgo swinging by the hotel before heading to the theatre. There was a Chinese restaurant in the nearby strip joint, and we went in to grab some food. I ordered deep-fried gizzards. I love gizzards. My mom used to make them, boiled, not fried, and they were a delicacy to me. No one else agreed with me nor wanted to try one, but that was fine with me because that meant more mouthwatering goodness for moi!
We were pressed for time, and the restaurant (more like take-out place with two small tables) didn’t have a restroom, so we drove the van, parked it, and then changed in the van. That’s the closet I got to being arrested in Norfolk. The van has tinted windows in the back, but not in the front, so anyone passing by would have seen me in my full glory (almost. I was wearing a bra, of course, but no panties). I gobbled down some gizzards, making little moans of appreciation as I ate.
After everyone had slaked their appetites, we went into the venue. We had forgotten the cupcakes, so Irish Dancer raced back to get them. As she had tripped on her way to the venue, I was worried that the cupcakes would be squashed by the time she returned. They were fine.
First thing I noticed is that it was an old-timey theatre. I love those. Second thing I noticed–all the reserved seats were empty. That pissed me off. I mean, I know there was an opening group, but–by the way, Alex Wong was also in the opening group, called The Paper Raincoats (first vid was the first song they did). They were really good, and Vienna’s cellist sat in with them. Alex is amazing as he plays so many instruments, including ones he just makes up. Oh, the concert started late, and Irish Dancer was grumbling. She’s fanatical about time, and I told her they were just running on Asian time. Punk Girl was having boy issues, so I gave her my emergency chocolate (dark chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cups) because romantic woes demand to be soothed by chocolate.
Anyway, The Paper Raincoats came out, and the auditorium was only half-filled. That pissed me off. The lead singer, Amber, had her puffy beret on at an extremely-cocked angle, which irritated me (Irish Dancer, too, as I later found out). Halfway through their set, the people in front of us showed up. The woman in the couple was wearing two gallons of perfume, and I had to lean back as far as I could without giving upside down head to the people behind me. I am allergic to all scents, especially manufactured ones, and it was agony. Then, a woman arrived late and tried to sneak into her chair. The only problem was, she was wearing a necklace that went chi-chuck every time she walked. She left the theatre two or three times to go to the bathroom, and I got pissed off each time.
See, this is why you can’t take me anywhere. I am not able to block my surroundings, so all this bullshit takes away from the experience. I have sensory issues, and it really bothers me to not be in control of my surroundings.
Anyway, The Paper Raincoat were really good. I’m not a huge fan of Amber’s voice, but I loved Alex’s. All their songs are about characters they created and where they are at in certain points of their life. It’s cool because I see it as an aural graphic novel. I love Alex’s voice and his virtuosity with his instruments, but the cello player blew me away. I used to play, and I think it’s the sexiest instrument ever. I leaned over and whispered to Kel that I would fuck Ward (the cellist) solely because of his cello skills.
Then, they had Vienna join them on stage to do a song with them. It was a great song and funny as well. Oh, I forgot to say that it was better to see them in Norfolk than in Oriental because the flight lost half of Alex’s instruments, and he only got them back for the Norfolk show.
I didn’t know who The Paper Raincoat was before that show, but I really dug their music.
Next up was Vienna. She is a stunning, amazing, beautiful woman, but she was wearing the ugliest boots. Her dress was OK, but I don’t dig florals. Still, I have to confess that I am jealous of her looks. Her parents are from Taiwan as well (though they are Mainlanders), but she is as far from me in features as is possible. She is slender and tiny with gorgeous hazel eyes. Her skin is flawless, and her hair is lush. I felt like a galoot next to her (we met her later).
Damn it. This is getting really fucking long, and I haven’t even finished Saturday yet. I’m going to post this and move to the next entry.
P.S. Every video I posted in this entry was performed that night.
*Blue Caravan, in honor of the navy blue mini-van that Kel drives.