Friday, July 21, 2006

Vacation Recap; Movies Reviewed; Other Detritus

(Prelude and subsequent interludes to wordy essay...The periodically interrupting iPod report. I wonder if it can do the iPod Magic 8 Ball thing that the old iPod can do. Let's see.)

It is currently playing Belle and Sebastian, "Stars of Track and Field." I love that song. And, I married one!

Kansas City is my hometown. My parents built their current house the year before I was born, meaning they have lived there for 38 years. That's a startling figure to me, as I, and the house, have usually come to represent recent developments in my family, what with my sister and brother being seven and twelve years older than me, respectively. They had two houses before I came along, and I always found that really strange.

(iPod interlude. The Chipmunks, "Whip It." Nonononono. Fast forward! OK, next up..."Pink Bullets" by The Shins. Much better.)

I grew up on a lake, which is in high contention for the prize given to the best part of my childhood. I swam every day of every summer, in my memory. My friends came over to swim, to grill out, and to lie out on the dark after dark and talk, and later to sneak cigarettes and giggle. It's the biggest attachment I have to my house, which after 38 years is getting a bit long in the tooth. (That actually hurt to write.)

("Happy Family." The Ramones. Ooooh! It works!)

Anyway, the parents still live on the lake. My father is not well, my mother takes care of him. It's hard. But, home visits are still something we look forward to, not the least reason being the total devotion my mother has for my children, even when they are Not Deserving Of It. (There was a pool ball incident, in which a ball was THROWN ACROSS THE ROOM hard enough to break an antique picture frame. Older Girl was at least an instigator. There was killing.)

("Le Freak," Chic. I did freak out, come to think of it. C'est chic.)

Of course, the girls, too share my love for the lake. Here's a bomber-suited darling with The Man:

And on our friend's pontoon boat, right at sunset:

("Cherry Cherry," Neil Diamond, "Lay Your Hands on Me," Thompson Twins. The iPod loves Erin's wedding barbecue music CDs.)

So, there's my highlight reel, really. I love the lake I grew up on. KC - well, it's fine; there's good barbecue (YES, Texans, I WENT THERE) and pretty architecture. More "culture" than Austin, in the old money sense, but less things to do. Unless you are right in the heart of downtown or midtown, you could mistake it for any other city in the country. There's a reason many "family chains," e.g. Applebee's, Houlihan's, Swensen's, are based there. Even if you go into a restaurant that isn't a chain, you have a feeling it wants to be one.

("The Armadillo Jackal," Robert Earl Keen. Actually don't know that song very well; haven't listened to No Kinda Dancer much. So I don't know what that means. Oooh, now it's "Scary Monsters (Super Freaks)" by David Bowie. Yes, there are scary monsters and DISTINCTLY super freaks in my past, some of whom currently live in Kansas City. Probably in the suburbs.)

Other than swim and visit with the family, we did get out and about a bit. We went to Worlds of Fun, which is KC's version of Six Flags. Older Girl rode the Mamba, which is the scariest fucking roller coaster I have EVER been on. Even though she was totally yoked in, I spent the entire ride with my arm pressed into her chest. I spent a nice day eating lunch at Andre's (not a chain, a lovely little Swiss chocolate/pastry shop that serves girly lunches...too wonderful, and NOT available in Austin) and shopping with the friends on the Country Club Plaza, wherein at some point I was talked into spending several hundred dollars at J.Jill (!) and Eddie Bauer (!!) (Seriously! I KNOW! And nothing was even BLACK! There's a fucking orange shirt in there! It was those women!)

("Landslide," The Dixie Chicks, "My Baby Loves Lovin," the White Plains. Who? Wait a there a theremin in that song? I'm hallucinating; must be the South Beach.)

The Man went to the Nelson Art Gallery that same day, which is way up on lists of things you should DEFINITELY go see if you ever visit. D'Bronx Deli is also a required stop, for me, at least. Deli is also not done right in Austin.

("Long Tall Texan," Lyle Lovett. "Can't Keep It In," Cat Stevens. I am wavering in my ability to process potential parallels to my life story. But, I'm glad I found the former, and I'm glad I left home, which is what the second song discusses.)

Other than that, I saw a few movies. First, we saw "A Prairie Home Companion," an odd, but enjoyable, little film. I'd say your barometer of whether you will like it falls exactly in line with your tolerance of the show. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin were fantastic, as were Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly. Kevin Kline is a god, and has been on my list from WAY BACK. But, like I said, it's definitely an odd little pic.

Next, we saw "Superman Returns." Confession alert: I'm a fangirl. I haven't gone into it much here, but I am a hard superhero customer to please. I went into the theater totally expecting to hate it, as Christopher Reeve is always, and will always be, Superman to me. I was also afraid they'd try to sex it up, put rubber nipples on his suit, that sort of thing. But, no...instead, the theater darkens, and I hear "Dah dah dah dah dah, DAH DAH DUM, etc." The credits roll, and the letters are the same diminishing blue outlines of old. I completely geeked out. They had me at the credits. Brandon Routh and Kevin Spacey were perfect...and I can't believe that I think that Brandon is ... as handsome as Chris! Kate Bosworth I was unimpressed with. She's no Margot Kidder. ("You've got me?? Who's got you???")

Then, we saw "Pirates of the Caribbean." Johnny Depp was fantastic, and the movie was pretty good. Kinda surprisingly long, considering the audience. The story was actually nonsensical, but I could watch Johnny Depp brush his teeth for two hours.

(I've lost track. "Why Have I Lost You," Cameo. "West of The Fields," R.E.M. "Something to Say," Toad the Wet Sprocket. I totally lose cool points with the last one.

And, that's about it. There was a waterpark in there somewhere, but it bears no observation, as it pales in comparison to Schlitterbahn, the Taj Mahal of all waterparks. The Man found a brew pub he liked, and actually sucked up his snotty Texan attitude long enough to have some decent Mexican food.

Nighty night, friends. This is long enough. For several posts. I believe I'm bogarting the internet.

I leave you with this, on the iPod, which is sure to be revelatory...

wait for it...

"Does Your Mother Know." Abba. I shit you not. No, Benny and Agnetha, she did not. Ever.


Karla said...

Dude. I totally love your posts. Seriously. You write, like, insanely good. (Dontcha love my grammar?)

Interesting shopping spree you had. It seems my shopping now is divided evenly into "She Buys All Black" and "She Buys Nothing Black".

On day last week I bought some stuff on sale that was all in shades of pale green and peach. there was even some lace. I shit you not.

Yesterday? Black sexy wrap dress and long tight sweater.

I think I am going through Clothing Midlife Crisis. Goth or Girlie? Evil or Good?

Lee said...
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