Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Homesick


It wasn't too long ago that "Danny Boy" on my friendlist asked the question I'd been trying to deny since coming back from the REU: did I miss San Diego? As in, was I homesick? I thought, do I have to be completely honest?

This time, for the first time in about 17 years when I last lived there (69 til 83 and again 87 til 90) and countless visits back, the answer was an overwhelming YES! This has never happened to me--that sick feeling of wanting to turn back, but a few of my SD pals say it has happened to them. I feel validated.

Admitting YES is tough on many counts. Where is "home?" I guess it isn't where you set up camp! I have two children and an x with whom I share custody on this island. They have lives here. I have a steady job that's fun, a solid living and utilizes my very strange and diverse skill set. I live in a nice big home on a beautiful, rural island and have a good network of -real people friends- I see in town, so what the hell, man?

I realize this: My parents are aging--gracefully I might add! My two grandmas are hanging in there but won't be around much longer. Aside from my wonderful brothers in Orlando and Honolulu, respectively, all of our rather extended family is clustered throughout La Jolla, Rose Canyon, La Mesa and Coronado and I miss them like you wouldn't believe. They miss out on the stages and victories of my sons on a daily basis. They didn't see Alex go from novice to advanced skiier in a single season like I did, as a chaperoning mommy on the slopes this winter. They didn't see Zach make several PINS during wrestling--those many practices and day long excursions to Tacoma for matches paying off. They won't see Alex sailing at his second year of sailing camp, or see Zachy pivot fluently on his skateboard (when he gets the move down, and he will).

I have become so immersed in the people I love as time passes. My eyes are open. My heart is a little sad. We have to deal. I take lots of photos and phone it in. But yes, I'm homesick.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Agent Orange




I am double blogging, because I did some myspace boasting about this, but tough!

If it weren't for RepoMan fan Trent on MySpace, I would not have noticed Agent Orange was in Tacoma for a show. Not just a show, an all ages show in which Alex could attend. He was totally into the idea. After 10 miles of bike riding with the boys today in this muggy weather, I was already zapped this afternoon, but I mustered the strength. Zachy had a bday party to attend...

Hell's Kitchen--the club-- is just a few miles from the Tacoma/Pt Defiance ferry dock. We saw a record store just a couple doors down and Alex being the 10-yr-old vinyl junkie that he is, we went in. A minute later members of JuiceHead and Agent Orange's singer/guitarist Mike Palm and bassist Perry Giordano were among us, rifling through tons of old, cool vinyl. I saw an original LP of Miserlou/Dick Dale and it took everything in my power not to run up to the guys and stage a photo!

The little club put you right up with the band. Alex ended up way up front when AO started. At the end of the night Alex had a cardboard box and got a pen from the bouncer and was telling the band, "sign my cardboard box, please!"

I didn't mind cheesing it up with singer/shredder Mike Palm either! -h

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm in Louisville, BYOTCH!




Crisis communication training is in Louisville! It's muggy here. I love the Camberly Club room I have at the Brown. This is a very pretty old historic hotel. Nice! Lots of little free things, like diet coke. And internet, and shuttles. That's the HOT BROWN from room service at The Brown...it was so rich I could eat only half.

My driver awaits in a few short hours. You know where I am!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Scenes from a Strawberry Festival








Vashon's annual summer party strikes again!
Let me count the ways this is such a fun event. Friday carnival rides for the boys, dinner at Casa Bonita (since Splash was open but only offering Fish n Chips or Burgers--yikes!) and a fabulous show in Ober with Children of the Revolution. Patricia and I were human pogo sticks hyping the crowd and energy. I spotted some serious butt crack in Ober park. Ew.
The boys and I rode bikes into town the next day. More Carnival rides, some booth perusing, and Brad Cooper's special fruit smoothies kept us cool...continued by a trip to the stores for Lemonade and a splash of Absolut Citron...and a bag of ice.
At night, the street dance! But first a visit to Gusto Girls, where the tank top clad ladies were looking fierce and buzzing through a full house and patio packed crowd. Capt Dick and The Portholes pleased all with blues, surf, new wave, rock--just awesome. Brad returned looking sharp, with Anjae and John, lots of friends. Stephen, Maureen, Charlie n Kevin, Desiree, Sara, BJ, who WASNT at Bishops?!!! We danced the night away til there was no dancing in town left to be had. The bar was frigging combat! Bartenders and servers were downright cranky at nights end. We tried to keep them smiling but geeeeez. No love. Even a battle to settle a tab.
All in all, two thumbs up.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Back from Coronado!





Living in Coronado as a child is one of the most sheltered--and blessed--experiences one can have. I was fortunate to live that and know that as a child. Having recently returned from there with my two boys for the 4th and the 20-yr class reunion (!) it brought more perspective and introspection than I anticipated.

It was something about the combination of watching my kids playing and loving it there last week, and my schoolhood friends surrounding me in present day, thinking of my own childhood experiences, and walking through the island's streets with David that brought it all on.

Pardon my stream of consciousness word vomit to follow, but the memories flooded back in profound ways:

-The annual carnival at Tidelands Park
-My brother Brion's little league games, also around Tidelands and that snack bar, where hot dogs and cracker jacks ruled
-Green, Yellow, Red flag days you'd scan for when approaching the beach (our recent trip was all red, meaning rip currents/danger galore--we still bodysurfed happily)
-Morey boogie boards and DuRay's--now Island Surf
-31 FUCKING FLAVORS--after the beach I lived for this place, now a memory. Thank you MOOTIME, cuz you're pretty darn tasty, too, just a tad expensive.
-The mixed scent of coppertone and chlorine, while laying on my stomach on the warm, wet conrete at the side of the Municipal Pool. The water would spill over from splashing kids and heat up the shallow puddles. Loved em.
-The diving board at the pool! Back flips from the lo dive, and straight dives off the high dive, which I always dreaded but challenged myself to jump from. Still not a heights lover.
-My fear of the heights off the Coronado bridge, even just while riding in the car across to San Diego. Zach has inherited the same inhibition. I still white knuckle it driving over it (and the Tacoma Narrows bridge).
-Esprit clothing. So 80s! We'd buy them in town on Orange.
-Village Theatre. So 40s chic, now closed. Booooo! Don't tear it down.
-91X, the radio station that satisfied my new wave/alt/reggae and oldies cravies on a single frequency. I loved your Del Mar Fair concerts and promos!
-My favorite stately homes from Ocean Blvd, to my grandparents Americana rambler on J with the back house.
-Sunday dinners on 510 J where mega course feasts with the extended family put us in a food coma. My gramma is now 92 in the same house, with caregivers and she can't cook for herself. I love her dearly.
-The lovingly tended backyard garden at 610 10th where my other gramma lived, sweet peas and roses scenting the place and the box hedge, squared off I used to run my hands over.
-Chez Loma and Marco's. CL looked so historic and Euro, and Marco's had the hanging twine bottles and cheesy rubber grapes hanging from overhead, with Sofia Loren-looking oil paintings on the wall and canal scenes.
-Clayton's, where mom would send Brion and I when she had dates.
-The Halloween costume parade and competition on Cutler field, we're going WAY BACK now.
-The presidential fitness tests. Do they still do those? Gym/PE in elementary school in California was for real back then. No fucky fucky! No wonder everyone was still fit at the 20-year; we kickstarted our metabolisms early!
-Goofing off through the catacombs of the Del
-Scaling the rocks on Ocean Blvd, and tidepooling near the del
-Fancy brunches at the officer's mess at the Amphib base with my grandpa, and playing on the green just beyond trying to fathom how the soldiers trained on these contraptions!
-My grandfather Fowler's salute and stern look entering the bases; he'd explain his USMC colonel rank commanded a long salute and as long as he held it, the underlings had to hold it, too.

I love that Coronado has sooo many sidewalk bistros today and wish they'd get more espresso indie places. Starbucks is not the end all and be all! And Kassie, it isn't worth an hour in line, except for catching up with old friends! :)

I'm going to stop here. If there was any way I could afford that quality of life for my family, I would do it for them in a heartbeat. Coronado was a blessing.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bishop's is Vashon Island's version of Cheers


Duuuuuude! My long lost island gal pal Patricia and I had the funnest time out last night. Just talkin! Just hangin! Just gellin' with the island cul-cha! My only regret was missing RockDog's broadcast, but I was too darn busy broadcasting cat calls and laughing my ass off with all the crazy comedy happening around us. It was a BLAST.

We started at Gusto Girls for some light bites and lavender frou frouy cocktail that was mighty tasty, and then regrouped at Bishop's, which is the pub with an adjacent restaurant and late night performance space. We saddled up to the bar and Jimmy (? man with long sandy ponytail and puppy dog eyes) made us raspberry martinis. Next to us was an artist boy (30 yr old boy!) named Paul who preceded to delve into the topic of sex and asked us if we were "honeys." Like, together--cuz he said it looked like I was way into Patricia! LOL I could only retort, "No, we like cock." And then I was appalled that those words were uttered by ladylike MOI. I mean, I talk like that to my girlfriends but not in front of boys. Okay, David gets to hear me talk like that too. ANYWAY

Lots of people we knew starting showing up. And mind you this is only the second time I'd ever set foot in the pub (the restaurant side is a diff story), and the first time was just days before.

OH! Stephen was there (and I'd just spontanesouly strip teased on the patio of his wine shop earlier in the afternoon during his regularly scheduled wine tasting cuz he said he wanted to see the pink camouflage bikini peeking through my shirt)--the sip-n-swirlers' gazes through his shops' picture window were CLASSIC. Yes, robust, I know! Kevin B treated us to a round. A new friend of my friend showed up with a far too flirty friend. It was just one of those "hey I know you" kinda nights.

Bishops was quite the Saturday night nerve center of the Island! We had fun.