Odd and Curious Thoughts of the Week


(1) So this past weekend, while eating a salad at Maudies, my date and I see a child vomit at the next table over, the parents not at all outraged or disgusted and simply continue to eat while the waitress cleans up said vomit. The parents handed the kid an ipad and a glass of sprite while we sit and try to carry on a normal conversation.  In the midst of this shocking event, our waitress remembers my side of dressing, which consists of a vat of white creamy substance in a large bowl looking exactly like vomit.  I’m totally disgusted with all humanity and I am swearing off ranch dressing forever.

(2)  In other news, we went out for sushi and laughed with new friends.  It turns out eating raw meat is less gross than a vat of vomit dressing.

(3) In his elder years, my dog has managed to overcome his arthritis in the morning long enough to bark for treats and roam the neighborhood at will without a leash, a stern warning, or any time limit on peeing, apparently.  He has a bladder the size of Wisconsin.

(4) My kids were off visiting grandparents for a solid week so my house has been quiet and I missed their beautiful angelic voices and the singing and yelling and laughing and running.  One night I visited a girlfriend and she was like “OMG I AM SO TIRED OF CHILDREN LET’S LOCK THEM ALL OUTSIDE AND DRINK WINE” and I realized that sometimes a break is lovely. It’s all about perspective.

(5) The kids came back and I was so excited to see them that I made crispy broccoli and tomatoes soaked in balsamic, but then I realized they are children and what the hell was I thinking.

(6) For dessert we had Ben & Jerry’s ice cream but mostly it was just me eating it with the occasional droplet of ice cream placed upon their tongues like they had just hatched out of a nest and they needed food as basic fuel to fly. But not too much because it’s Cherry Garcia.   I missed them and all but still.

(7) Went on a fabulous dinner date to Alamo Drafthouse to see Stand By Me with a full menu that matched scenes in the movie complete with beer parings from a pub in Portland, but three beers later I was like seriously folks it’s Tuesday. There is a morning coming.

(8) My children are sleeping in my bed because I can’t stand to be away from them.  I wedge myself in between them and sing spirituals and tell them in the middle of the night they are the joy of my life. My son woke up and said he dreamed he was riding a mud-laden roller-coaster and when he got off he kicked snapping frogs off his toes.  He clarified that although there are snapping turtles in real life, this was just a dream. There are really no snapping frogs.  I thanked him for the clarification; I wasn’t aware.

(9) Basically my life is amazing.




Life is like ice cream


Sometimes life feels like a root beer float. You just don’t know which direction to turn and whether to eat the ice cream first or suck out the soda and if you dawdle too long you’re left with a half-flat syrupy melted mess of calories that makes you want to throw up.  Nobody likes wishy-washy. Be decisive: life is short and the world needs more leaders that can make decisions.

But sometimes it’s like a banana split, where there’s a healthy mix of fruit and flavor wedged in between.  But I never eat the banana and I can’t stand strawberry ice cream so it’s all just for show and you might as well ditch the ice cream altogether and go for yogurt with granola.  Or perhaps you could just dive right in with chocolate almond fudge and be sure to have a salad for dinner, drink water, and run on Tuesdays.  Be true to yourself: do what you love.

Oftentimes, I find life resembles vanilla.  Not the from-scratch version with condensed milk your grandmother used to make that can totally hold its own, but the generic kind that comes in a box that tastes a little bit like cardboard.  And as the days plod on you just eat it because, well, it’s better to end with bad ice cream than have broccoli lingering in your mouth.  Some days are like that.  Be grateful for what you have: better days will come.

But there are times – oh the beautiful times – that resemble Italian gelato on a hot steamy night, when your breath is short and your hand brushes up against his and you feel so very lucky to be alive.  These moments might stay or they might vanish with the seasons of life, but let them roll around on your tongue so that you won’t ever forget them.  Be reminded from time to time of these special memories, even if they disappear: at least you had them and took a little break from cardboard vanilla.

I hate the vegan frozen yogurt phases, when you try so very hard to do the right thing but it’s all mucked up and funny-tasting and you just wish you could go back in time and just buy the damn sherbet.  You’ve wasted money and wasted time and it all feels so futile.  Be forgiving of yourself: we are all human and make mistakes and you need grace to start over.

And then there are the Sundaes, where things are sloppy and hot fudge is melting and we are all just lazy and droopy and sit around thinking of doing laundry but instead watch entire seasons of Homeland.  That’s a good refueling time, and necessary to counterbalance our hectic pace, and sometimes we just need to sit and hold the people we love without getting all Italian about it.  Be careful to schedule time to rest and gather your strength for the race ahead.

The crazy thing about life is that we all have our own precious identities that we cling to and people get all weird about it, like if you’re in Austin you go to Amy’s but if you’re in Upstate New York you might lick a cone at Stewarts and it’s all good because it’s ice cream, for freaks sake. Try new flavors and new stores and new ways to eat it.  It’s fun and sweet and usually not eaten at funerals. Be creative: you might be surprised at what you’ll learn about yourself.

In my sights ahead, though, is always a double scoop of gold medal ribbon and dark chocolate, because dreams are meant to be large and bold, and life should be lived with hope and expectations of great things to come.  If you constantly think Wednesdays will be filled with soupy floats there’s no being friends with the likes of you.  The weekend is coming, my friend.  The taste of salted caramel and the smell of baked waffle cones and the thrill of what is yet to come is what we live for. Be bold: there are dreams to be realized, and lived out, and embraced.

Life is like ice cream, only better.  It’s stressful, and at times we melt, but we can harden again.  We do not diminish but grow richer with time and experience.  There are so many colors and flavors to choose from, and ways to serve and enjoy them, and at the end we all go down smooth and mesh into the earth and our goal really should be to try to make a child happy on a hot summer day and have Jesus be pleased with our efforts. Be an example of a life well lived, full of richness and sweet.

Don’t live life half-way. Ain’t nobody likes low-fat buttered pecan. Trust me. Nobody.