Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You'd Think It Was a Quiet Summer

I've neglected my blog lately. You'd think I was having a quiet summer, peaceful and lazy, with no desire to have fingers hovering over a keyboard. Instead, the month of July has been so busy that I haven't had time to post.

First there was the holiday. It's a requirement that there be BBQ and beer, margaritas and fun. I celebrated with Jaime and the Supercrash family. Independence Day fun was followed by my nephew Adie's birthday celebration. On the heels of Adie's party was Primas Por Vida Weekend, when my cousin Vickie came to town. I can sum it up this way: BBQ, booze and music. We hightailed it up to Pflugerville to hear Supercrash play at Hanover's. Darci, Mark and Kela met up with us for great music and cold drinks. Oh, and finding a baggie of a white powder in the parking lot had Kela convinced that Pahflug isn't the sweet little low crime zone it appears to be...unless of course we're totally mistaken and that stamp sized clear plastic baggie was obviously holding powdered sugar, not coke.

Then there was the birthday. Frederick started off the festivities with 40 breakfast tacos (yup, one for each year) at the office, then continued it when he and Darla escorted me to lunch. Lunch, although tasty, was an exercise in patience and definitely worth a blog of its own. Let's just say we ate for free and leave it at that. In the afternoon, we indulged in an Amy's Oreo Cookie ice cream cake. Delicious! In the evening, Jaime whisked me off for a meal of steak, steak, steak! Despite the fact that I hadn't stopped eating since well, dawn, I devoured every bit of my black & blue ribeye at Austin Land & Cattle Company, ate most of the just garlicky enough mashed potatoes and picked at the spinach and carrots...really, aren't they more for colorful decoration and good plate presentation?

We retired to the Warehouse District for cocktails, meeting up with Jessee, Chel &Jenene at Fado's. Rockett, Jason and Chuck joined us for a quick drink, too. Then we tripped across the street to introduce Jaime to how a cocktail should be made---strong. You guessed it, we visited Sloppy Joe at Oil Can Harry's. A scantily clad shot boy gave Jenene a bit of a shock when he walked up and hugged her. It's not every day you discover that one of your daughter's friends works in little else than hotpants and shoes. After multiple birthday drinks with the OCH men, the crew said goodnight to us and Jaime & I left to visit Jonathan at Rain. It isn't a birthday without a pineapple upside down cake shot. Or an X-Rated Punch. Or whatever else I imbibed whilst holding up the bar in front of Jonathan's post. Jaime was a newbie to the gay bar scene, but he held up well. And lived, although the next morning was rough. :-)

Saturday I skittered around setting up for my party. It was all about food, drink and karaoke love. It's safe to say there are few really good singers amongst my set, but we don't lack for entertaining ones. I butchered a few songs, it's true. Okay, more than a few. All the ones I attempted! And the multiple choice Kay trivia contest was a success. Chel knows me best, triumphing in a tie breaker round with Heather for that claim to fame. Scott knows me the least well out of anyone, including total strangers, if you consider the odds of getting at least 4 questions out of 10 correct. Scott had a whopping 3 right, all lucky guesses, I'm certain. John & Frederick wrote in their own answers, which were much funnier than the truth. As for all of you who got the virginity question wrong, I did NOT become a trollop until after high school.

I was showered with attention and gifts (which weren't necessary but oh so thoughtful) and basically treated like royalty, complete with tiara. I had a houseful of friends that I love and all were having a fantastic time. What a perfect way to turn 4 decades old! Suffice it to say that the morning light revealed every inch of every flat, elevated space in the kitchen and dining room was littered with empty cups, bottles, soiled paper plates and the crumbs of party munchies. I'm not sure how many people we packed into a not-so-large living area, but as one friend said "It's not overcrowded until you can pass out and not fall down". (You're sooo right, Taka!). My terrific roomies, Darren & David, granted me the gift of cleaning up the mess. By the time I wandered downstairs they had the place spic and span.

After a recovery day, the next Fab 40 event was a road trip with Jaime to Schlitterbahn. Voted America's best water park, Schlitterbahn started out as a family oriented motel on the Comal River. The owners, Bob and Billye Henry, their three kids and guests spent much of their time in the water, tubing and swimming. Bob launched his idea for a water park in 1979 and has had people flocking to his ever growing resort as each year passes.

Why had I never visited? All day long I repeated that question in my mind. The rides are fantastic, with my chief complaint only that some are too short. There's uphill water coasters, lazy rivers, swirling tube chutes, rides that start at the top of a six story tower and so much more spread across 65 acres. Sure, there was some waiting in line for popular attractions but they were well worth it. From kiddie play zones to the bar, there is definitely something for everyone.

Near the end of the day we climbed the 60 foot tower to ride the Master Blaster, a whopping 1,000 feet of uphill water coaster. As we waited in line, Jaime and I noticed the weather turning a bit sour. Dark clouds were blowing in as the wind picked up speed. Soon, lightning started and we're on a 6 story tower made of metal and fiberglass. Yeeeeaaaah. It didn't take long for the park to send out the "we're closing so that our insurance carriers don't have to pay out on medical claims for you dumbasses still trying to get on our water rides" message. Seriously, when the sky has darkened to the point of semi-twilight and the lightning flashes are rampant, do ya really want to court disaster? Apparently, many do, as evidenced by the number of Schlitterbahn employees tactfully explaining that it is dangerous to be in the water during lightening. And we wonder why so many Texans drown when their cars stall after they've driven onto a flooded bridge. Darwinism.

We exhibited a higher level of intelligence on our way home. With the rain coming down in sheets and the wind blowing it sideways, Jaime was convinced we should pull over and take refuge in a restaurant. Two other factors he considered: rumbling tummies and my shrieking "We're All Gonna Die!" while clawing at the dashboard. I'm a baby when it comes to storms. We managed to avoid the wrath of Hurricane New Braunfels and be warm and well fed.

I had a few days of down time before Toddfest 2007. As always, this is a highlight of summer in ATX for me. With 3 bands and Austin's best burlesque babe onstage plus many friends hanging out at the bar, who can't have a good time at Toddfest? Kickin' off the night's music was The Whoremoans, an Austin band with a knack for stirring up the crowd. Miss Maulie performed her sultry moves both before and after The Humiliators rocked out onstage. What's not to love when you have a feathery fan dance followed by Godzilla rock? After a wet & wild Maulie encore, Steamroller brought the night to a close with their solid sound. Happy birthday, Todd!

My first soiree-free July weekend's looming on the horizon. Can it be done? Can I actually make it from Friday afternoon to Monday morning without doing much at all? Ahhh....don't think so but we'll see. It's Austin, there's always a party somewhere.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

40 Is Fixin' To Smack Me in the Face

Fixin' to. Is it just a Texas thing to say or does it show that I grew up in the Southern portion of the U.S.? I don't know where I picked up the habit of using the phrase. Perhaps it was during years of captivity growing up in the redneck capitol of the South. I spent 5 years on the East side of the Ouachita River, then another 5 on the West, effectively allowing both Twin Cities equal time to convince me to move elsewhere. Go Rebs! Ah, but I'm off topic.

My 40th year is fixin' to smack me in the face. Yup. I probably need Botox, microdermabrasion, a chemical peel and collagen. I already know I need to drop 20lbs, but that's an ongoing battle. Today I made a desperate call to my stylist, the sassy Kathryn who wields magic in her quest to fulfill the salon's mission to make me "dangerously beautiful". She'll hide the grays with skillful coloring and chop a bunch of hair off and I'll become, well, if not dangerously beautiful then maybe ummm carelessly attractive. As long as I'm not plain jane middle aged then it's all good.

I think it's a good idea to reflect back on life when you reach a milestone year. Please, no eye rolls. I realize most of you think I reflect too often as evidenced by comments in my archived blogs. I believe that I need to recognize where I've come from and how difficult and sometimes easy the trip has been.

I'm having a great summer. My life is in perpetual forward motion and I'm savoring the adventures. I recently spent a week with my parents, brother and sister and although it wasn't an exotic vacation, it was wonderful to be together. I didn't grow up with my oldest sister and brother, so our time together as adults is precious to us. Right before our family vacation, I spent a weekend at my twin's home in Missouri. It was great to be there although most of the trip was spent prostrate and cursing whomever passed a nasty stomach virus on to me. At least vomiting is a spectator sport in their household, so my niece and nephew didn't feel as if they hadn't seen me. Note to Kim: next house needs at least 2 full bathrooms.

My social life is, as always, a series of one exuberant event after another. It's a simple statement, but I'm happy. I've shrugged off the last of my gloominess, chased away the lingering shadows and filled myself full of the effervesence I've enjoyed in the past. The struggle was worth it.

I cherish my family and chosen family more than ever. My friends are incredible. I wouldn't be who I am today if not for my friends. When I needed a shoulder, when I vented for the thousandth time over a particular subject, when I relentlessly discussed parenthood, when I cried, when I laughed, when I needed a kick in the ass, ya'll were there. It takes a village to raise a Kay. I've profited from your support, your kindness and of course, from your no holds barred take on reality.

I still don't feel my age. It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea that on the 19th I will have had 14,600 days of life. Such a large number! It just can't be true, but it is. Since I don't feel this old, it's easy to embrace my age. I'm hellbent on making my 40th year the best I've ever had. It's a jumping off point for the next phase of my life. If I were a product, someone could stamp "New & Improved" across me.

For now I'm adopting a new outlook. Kierkegaard said it best with "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards". He also said "Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own". With that, I think 40 will be a very fine year.

A quick look back on my decades:

The 60's: Started off with a long hospital stay during which my twin claimed her spot as ruler of the pack. Lots of cloth diapers, baby food and music. Mom was fresh outta the convent and catching up on pop culture. My earliest memory is watching the televised broadcast of the first moonwalk.

The 70's: We moved around a lot. After leaving San Antonio for Friendswood, Fort Worth and the booming metropolis of Childress we finally made it to Louisiana. Lots of listening to the radio & records, probably because we only had four channels of tv. Kim & I honed our Wonder Twins powers and made a lot of memories. One that comes to mind right now is how my 2nd grade boyfriend zapped me with a cattle prod...a few weeks before he gave me my first black eye. I ditched him for a guy who ate Dog Chow nuggets, thus cementing my ability to pick good romantic partners (just lucked out with my current SO). We spent most of our free time outside, no matter what city we lived in. Elvis died and I played his "Viva Las Vegas" album for hours as a tribute to The King.

The 80's: Did I mention listening to music? And finally watching videos! Yes, back when MTV actually showed 'em. I was an 80's child, through and through. I mourned John Lennon with an AC/DC album in one hand and the B-52's in the other. My home life was so-so, but there was 4-H camp, Theatre-Forensics, FBLA, Thespian Troupe #442, livestock shows, rodeos, cruising Forsythe park, Tickled Pink and much more. Remember when Madonna had body fat? Best decision of the decade was to move to Austin with a side trip to OKC.

The 90's: Spent in debauchery, mostly. Let's sum it up: gay bars. There was a lot more to it, but it still revolved around partying.

The 2000's so far: Learning a lot, growing up finally and loving my life. Good times and not-so-great times, quick and easy lessons, long drawn out painful lessons but above all abundant laughter.