Monday, July 18, 2011

Ariel's Ode

Blog, today is my friend Ariel's birthday. Oh if only I had all the picture memories of our friendship saved on this computer so I could include them here on you, Blog. But alas, all I have is words and some random photos of us on the beach from when I visited her last year on the west coast...

I am a giant next to Ariel. But not as giant as Haystack Rock.

What a strange and lovely little person she is...
Very strange and lovely. You put us in the same room as a hurricane lamp and shit gets real yo.
Ariel is the only friend I have left over from high school. She's an interesting friend because she's managed to become very close and long term friends with my friends from college, even though we did not go to college together. Her likable personality allows me to meld together high school, college, and beyond when it comes to my friends. It's almost as if she's the weird, flighty glue that holds us all together.

Yeah, that's me, Ariel and her boyfriend Chris on a mountain. But really Blog. She's friends with Bemidji and Minneapolis folk too. I just don't have the pictures on this computer to prove it.

Today Ariel turns 28. I remember 10 years ago when she turned 18 I picked her up from her farm full of chickens, goats, sheep and a donkey named Thistle who loved the smell of exhaust and we drove out to the field runoff that is called Golden Lake to spend the day on the beach. Our little North Dakota lives were so simple and we were so easily entertained back then. We just drank soda, ate donuts, and stole Little Mermaid t-shirts that we'd find on the "shore". It's funny to think about all the stuff that's happened to us both since then. We got email, bachelors degrees, boyfriends, and cars. Then we got rid of our boyfriends and our cars, and got new boyfriends and cars. Then I moved to the city, she moved to the coast and eventually became a vagabond to the point where Kerin's dad asked if she was ok the one time he met her randomly in the Minneapolis skyway as she lugged a pillowcase full of her belongings. She's gone to Hawaii, I've gone to Europe. She talks about sealife, I talk about masters degrees. She does yoga, I do theater. And here we are, half a continent apart, still the same old friends that can go to the beach together. Only these days it seems we frequent the Pacific Ocean more than Golden Lake. Sometimes change is a good thing.

Here's to you friend. Salt in your eye, guess what... chicken, good night God, good night Jenny, I love you both. To two person games of Clue, Mrs. I harmonies, and Dr. Who scarves. To the oil gloves and the oil room and all the lessons you've taught me about the crazy sea life that exists on the Goonies rock. You are the one friend I have who I've considered the best for the longest. I hope in 10 years our kids are getting together, playing soccer, and eating at that barbeque we've been planning since we were smoking swisher sweets on the roof watching shooting stars and talking about how crop circles seem to frequent the month of July, particularly the 18th of July. Happy birthday friend.

You're the only person I know who actually wears sunglasses over glasses.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It Happens

Blog. Yesterday it was 92 degrees. As you can probably tell, my apartment was that of a sauna. That's why I didn't really spend any time here yesterday. Instead I went down to the lake to sun (burn) myself and enjoy the cool, clear water that the city of lakes has to offer me. I memorized lines, listened to music, and watched the cutest little puppy you ever did see frolic and play in the shade of a tree with his owner. Oh special lake day! The sun even went behind a cloud for awhile so my pale body could take a break from the glaring rays that were attacking it with both vicious heat and healthy vitamin D. I ended up getting a really weird sun burn that covers the right side of my back and a strip of my leg since I don't really have an eye for even sunscreen coverage and also have trouble reaching my shoulder blades.

Anyway, after some glorious lake time, I found myself rushing home only to have enough time to throw the juice I had purchased at Lund's for some lake hydration into my fridge and change out of my annoying moist (that's right, I said moist) bathing suit into some dryer duds before heading off to rehearsal for that show I was memorizing lines for. After spending three hours in a sweltering rehearsal room (but not as sweltering as my apartment, mind you) and saying things like "I hope you like Supervalu mayonnaise" and "I've been testing all the pens I found in my purse to see which ones still work" with a heavy northern accent and somewhat mannish voice, Sam, Molly , and I went to the BLB for some dinner. Sure it was the third, maybe fourth time I had eaten out all weekend, but whatever. Before I knew it I found myself at Improv A-Go-Go for the first time in YEARS laughing at people I somehow have the priveledge of knowing personally. Lucky me.

All in all it was a lovely day where I got to touch base with my theater/improv friends and enjoy some good rehearsal and performances. I even got to escape the heat a bit by finding solace in the air conditioned theater. Hooray!

On my way home, I was reminded my my hot house of a living space, so I decided to stop by the CVS and get some ice cream so I'd have a cool treat for when I was sweating in front of you, Blog. I always get fat in the summer because of this kind of shit. I lay around in the sun and then I eat ice cream. I'm so going for a run after I post this...

I digress, I bought the ice cream and went on my way home. Upon entering the hell fire that I call home, I noticed something strange. There was a light coming from my kitchen area. And not like I had left a light on. No, instead it was as if a night light had been turned on as if to gently guide my blind self through my darkened kitchen/dining spot. But hark! I do not have such a light in that part of my apartment. Whaa??

I turned the corner only to find to my horror that my refrigerator door was slightly ajar and the gentle light I had noticed was that from the light inside. My mind slowly did some what I call "life math" and added it all up to equal the realization that ALL MY FOOD HAS GONE BAD. And then a few minutes later... I HAVE NOWHERE TO PUT THIS ICE CREAM I JUST BOUGHT since my freezer had been affected by this as well. F.

I hastened to shut the door (that's right, hastened) and then opened it up again to see what damage had been done. Since I don't really eat regular food, it wasn't as bad as I had initially thought. I think the worst of it was the half gallon of unopened milk that I had purchased just a couple days before. Everything else, the butter, the wine, the orange juice... I had hope for.

Turns out that what ended up being the most annoying thing was the fact that I couldn't put ice in the lukewarm water that comes out of my faucet. That and I had to eat a whole pint of ice cream. I couldn't bring myself to let so much dairy go to waste after the initial shock of losing an entire half gallon of milk. But after sweating and sweating in my apartment, I needed to hydrate and cool off. That is hard to do when you leave your refrigerator open for six hours in a 90 degree room.

But then things started turning up. Half an hour after I got home, a vicious wind and rain storm blew threw the 'hood and cooled everything down. I probably should have closed my windows just in case something like lightening or a tree came flying through in an attempt to attack me, but I considered this opportunity to cool off the oven I live in too good to pass up. So I sat here getting rained on and talking to Emily on gchat. It felt glorious.

AND! The maverick in me came home today and hoped, just hoped that maybe that milk hadn't gone bad. Maybe, just maybe milk can still be good after sitting in 90 degrees for six hours. You never know until you reluctantly open it up, smell it, and slowly pour it down the inside of a glass just to be sure. You never know if milk is truly bad until you taste it. And so I did. And the milk was cold, smooth, and... delicious! Yay! I didn't completely waste $2.49!

Although I'm pretty sure I gained a pound or seven from all that ice cream last night. Having a warm freezer shouldn't be an excuse for eating an entire pint of ice cream, but I guess it's a better one than having your heart broken or losing your job or something. That would suck.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family Fourth

Blog, why haven't I taken up my family on invitations to the big Fourth of July bash they have every year? This weekend I went to my grandma's house and realized I haven't spent a summer day on Little Pine Lake in years. Seriously, years. The sandy shores that we played on when we were kids have washed away, but grandma's house and all the summertime memories that go along with it are still there. I got my first sunburn of the summer blog, and it was a real one. I actually went out on the water. I went to Zorbaz. I went swimming. I hung out with cousins. I did all the things I would do when I'd spend a week at grandma's in the summertime as a result of my parents attempting to get rid of their kids for a week. Well, everything but be towed behind grandpa's fishing boat in a sad attempt of tubing with a 40 horsepower motor designed for trolling the lake. But you know, I'm glad that wasn't experienced.

I was surrounded by family for a good solid 24 hours. Hanging out with family in bulk reminds you of how interesting, entertaining and annoying it is to hang out with people who are all kind of the same. My only regret is that I didn't get to experience going to see the fireworks after the baseball game in town and ooh and ahh with the rest of the Schmitz's. That, and the fact that I missed out on being a part of this gem of a boat parade entry complete with a canopy full of pre-teen girls in bikinis:

If you look closely you'll see patriotic decorations and the letter B. Why they didn't win is beyond me...

There's something really funny yet disappointing about having your cousins jump overboard in the middle of a boat  parade and swim to shore. I mean you guys can't ride out the whole route? Luckily this gave me a chance to make Mary find the patriotic beads that a boat previously had thrown our way, but missed the dock by about five feet.

Mary and Claire with the beast of a lab Libby, mid-parade.
Apparently every year, the float (no pun intended) that wins has nothing to do with the theme of Red White and Blue. I heard last year it was Batman. This year? It was even further off target. Can you say British Invasion, Yellow Submarine?

At least Clive is probably amused by this.

Anyway, it was fun for all. The weekend concluded with my grandpa ordering a ridiculous amount of chicken from the Pizza Ranch and everyone coming in from the lake, the cabin, the dock, California... and gathering around grandma's kitchen island to talk about what sports everyone plays and how annoying my cousin Nate was when he was a kid. The family get together is always an interesting one. Where else can you board a pontoon and hear the phrase "I changed everyone's diapers here except for Tina" and hear stories about your aunts cooling off in their training bras after bailing hay only to be happened upon by Uncle Ray? We cooed over a baby and yelled at the twins. We gave diving lessons to the kids and lost our bottoms when we attempted it ourselves (or maybe that was just me). And the great part is that it's all the same, just like it's always been, except everyone is taller, older, married, and pregnant. There's nothing like going home to grandma's...

My crippled cousin Anthony... or he just likes to take Grandma's Jazzy scooter off roading around the house.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Solitary Beach Time

Blog, there's something incredibly lonely about going to the beach by yourself. When you go, you see that most everyone else is at the beach with groups of friends or significant others. Beach by yourself means you lay there alone, reading, eavesdropping, and dipping into the water of your own means. It's wonderful.

Today is a perfect beach day and I have no one accompany me on my walk down to the water. I've run some errands and now I'm going to head down by myself. I'm going to bring a book, a notebook, my ipod and some alcohol. I'm going to lay out in the sun in my bathing suit this summer for the first time and enjoy the sun, reflect on my weird life, and soak in the fact that I (more than likely) am the only one there by myself, and only myself.

I have people in this life who love me with all their heart. Sadly, none of them are able to go to the beach with me today. But knowing that they are out there, living their own lives and allowing me to be a part of them is a great thing to remember when you find yourself at the beach alone.