Reunited

The 30th High School Reunion.  Great weekend – from quiet time at my place catching up with close friends*, to finding a connection with someone i’d only brushed by in my youth – the high school reunion flushed out memories, and helped me get ‘the rest of the story’ regarding long forgotten antics. 

It also provided an opportunity to dance like there is no tomorrow!  Through a mild hangover haze, here are glimpses…

– Was delighted that my re-discovered friend, DJ, was able to attend!  He had a stroke in February, and has made pretty good progress over the past seven months.  Now using a cane to walk, he has no use of his right arm.  Although tired from a long weekend of activities, he was having a good time – and i caught him cheering me from the side of the dance floor.  We managed quite a few giggles – and collected more than a few stares – when i gave him a “PG-13” version of a chair/lap dance.  Seemed reasonable, since i couldn’t drag him on the dance floor with me…

– Hook ups?  You betcha!  With much of the reunion planning taking place via Facebook, the opportunity for transparent and clandestine booty call was right there on the ol’ keyboard!  While pre-gaming at the hotel bar in the early evening with a woman i’ve known since i was 6 years old, we were comparing notes on who was going to be hooking up with whom.  Post-game analysis in her room at 4:30am?  We were pretty sure we’d gotten it right…

– Hanging with my two gal pals on Friday night, i was struck by the wide swings in the conversation.  Some talk of the past, more talk about the present… and a surprising amount of time spent talking about professional lives as managers, supervisors, and the amount of adult daycare we provide within our respective organizations.  (sigh)  Face it.  We’re old.

– Invariably, there is the “In Memoriam” moment.  Despite the fact that it was handled in a mildly awkward manner**, it was necessary to go through the list.  Since my friend, JW, died a mere six years after graduation, he was there.  After we were kicked out of the hotel ballroom at 11:30 pm, we moved to another nearby bar to continue hanging out together.  i stumbled into a woman, SD, who’d worked with JW after graduation for a few years….  Since 1986, i have been carrying the notion that he died from an accidental fall from a railroad bridge.  From SD i got a different story – that it was suicide.  That he’d killed himself after finding out he “had AIDS.  Guess i’ll never really know…

– Further conversation with DJ regarding the status of his physical therapy led to discussion on some ‘interim therapy’ he can accomplish on his own while waiting for transfer to another rehab facility.  Was there with another friend, MD, the delicious dancing boy that i’ve developed a terrible crush on, as we asked what DJ needed to keep making progress.  Books, phone calls were at the top of the list – easy to manage on his own, and working his eyes and voice.  i asked if he had internet, or was allowed pornography.  Seriously, folks, what better way to get that right arm back in shape!  MD noted that i’m more of a “Physical Terrorist” than a “Physical Therapist”…

– For all the talk about “old times”, i realized that i still believe my best years are ahead of me.  Whether or not i’m being overly optimistic remains to be seen, but i can’t tackle it any other way.  After closing the second bar of the evening, we retreated to a hotel room***.  Waiting for the keyholder to find her way back, we decided to get on with it.   i’ve come a long way from drinking ‘forties’ on the porch step.  That would be a bottle of Glenfiddich…

this was a staged photo. mostly.

* And watching my friend JM-P chase her five year old daughter around?  Priceless!

** Two of the Senior Class Officers turned down the dance music, stood at the podium, and announced a slide show/tribute to those from our class who have died.  Other than me saying “What the fuck? When did HE die?” perhaps a little too loudly, the transition between the ‘moment of silence’ and ‘Ok, let’s all get back to dancing!” could have used a better segue.

*** As a survivor of countless conference ‘hotel room parties’, i know better than to allow drunks into my room.  Been there.  Cleaned that toilet.

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Ladeeeeeez and gentlemen….

"Meow", bitches...
“Meow”, bitches…
Last night, i attended a local event that is pretty much the annual throw-down bash of the year.  It’s a fundraiser for the local AIDS Resource organization, and the best halloween event ever.  Several hundred people show up, and these folks know how to play. 

Masks are required.  The cool kids know to paint them on, because attempting to throw down for five hours with a plastic mask on your face just sucks.  The venue is typically an abandoned warehouse or loft space, done up with lights and theatrical props. 

Live entertainment includes fire-throwers, acrobats and the nationally recognized drag troupe…  Servers and hired dancers are wearing nearly nothing but body paint.  Never mind the entertainment of the crowd – these are people who take their costuming very seriously.

There are still over 55,000 new HIV infections in the US every year.  It’s not a problem that has been solved.  The fact that this is a highly successful fundraising event for something that matters?  Extra damn cool…  One of my friends, DK, has become a ticket ambassador, and her enthusiasm for this event is truly contagious. 

This years theme?  1930’s circus sideshow.  There were seven of us attending as our own ‘troupe’.  Pre-party and masque painting at my place before gametime.  After spending most of today recovering from tearin’ it up last night, some random thoughts…

 – Mask painting, costuming pre-party at my place from 6-8pm.  The dog was covered in glitter.  i was so fragged from trying to get everything done in the afternoon, i’d missed his walk – so he added to the artistic decor by painting a lovely wet sketch on my carpet.  Swirling and twirling around as the poor mutt attempted to hold it…  i couldn’t be mad.  My fault for not taking him out…

– DK had ‘hired’ a designated driver.  A young friend from the theater who is temporarily unemployed was hired to drive us there in her minivan.  So naturally, we are on our way to the party, in a family minivan.  And what’s the soundtrack?  Why “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog“, that’s what… Nowhere on earth could i have been in such a situation – costumed gaggle of festive humans, in a minivan, singing silly songs while stashing glow sticks in their undergarments.

– My ‘statistically significant other’ and i went as the Liontamer and his Lioness.  My children pointed out there wasn’t much sparkly gold clothing in the 1930’s, i was covered from head to toe in gold.  The costume was home made, and it was my intention to make the drag queens weep with envy.  i think i succeeded.  Until i dropped my 4″ sandals at the “coat check” at 11:00pm.  No way i was going to last another 3 or more hours…

– When my daughter came upstairs to assist with the group photoshoot, her words were “Holy shit, my mother looks like a hooker”.  i have achieved…. something…. not entirely sure what….

– Naturally, i was on a leash.  It was nearly impossible to find a gold dog collar and leash.  We tried every pet store in the area.  Until it hit me – “Where do you get such gear for your dog? WalMart!”  Success.  Oh, and it couldn’t be a retractable leash.  That would have been degrading… and no “monkey backpack” toddler leash… Geez… i have standards… 

– The leash proved challenging.  If my friend was off to the men’s room, he’d hand the leash off to someone else.  There was another ‘cat woman’ character there, and she felt compelled to ‘release’ me when she saw me.  A few years ago, if anyone had told me that i’d be perfectly happy being walked on a leash, while wearing 4″ gold stiletto ‘fuck me’ shoes and a gold afro in public at 47 years of age?  Ok…  i might have believed them.  i’ve always had a flair for drag-queen dramatics.

– Highlight of the evening, without question, was being invited onto a dance podium with a gorgeous young ‘tiger boy’.  Oh, shit.  We had fun.  Not that i’m an exhibitionist, mind you…. At one point, i told him, “Baby, i’m old enough to be your mother”.  Not missing a beat he said “Honey, you’re waaaaaay hotter than my mom” and proceeded to dry hump me.  There might be video.  It won’t be posted on facebook. 

For your amusement, a few pics….

he invited me up.  i have witnesses.

he invited me up. i have witnesses.

i was wrong.  there IS a heaven...

i was wrong. there IS a heaven...

 

oh, to have been born of different genetics....

oh, to have been born of different genetics....

Bitten by the Crazy Bug

Happy hour*.  Friday after work hanging out with the chemistry posse.  Some of the regulars, plus a couple of summer grad students from out of the area…  The conversation turned to parties past, including one completely off the chain rather spectacular event at chez daisyfae – with about 120 folks passing through the premises during the evening.

It was a farewell party for RK, a notoriously goofy and very fun young scientist.  Not content with regular picnic fare, he arranged to have an entire roasted pig delivered – carried in on a litter by Barbecue Delivery Technicians.  But it wasn’t the pig everyone remembered.  Along with RK came his good friend, Crazy Jimmy. 

Of course, as we’re telling the tales of the party, and mention Crazy Jimmy, the newbies had to ask how the guy got the name.  i mean, if you’re going to have a descriptive adjective permanently attached to your given name, “Crazy” is one that was most certainly earned. They don’t just hand those out for $1.99 at the WalMarts.  The stories of Crazy Jimmy ensued…

During RK’s party, Crazy Jimmy carried around a plastic tub of dog treats – Mr. Pickles’ bacon jerky meat sticks, to be precise.  Not only eating them, he politely offered to share them with the guests.  Mr. Pickles was not entirely amused.  At a subsequent party, while in a conversation with one of my son’s friends, Crazy Jimmy felt compelled to reach out and grab his junk.  Not just a quick squeeze, but holding on – maintaining his grip until my son’s friend punched him squarely in the head. 

After sitting silently through the stories, my favorite NASCAR PhD** topped them all.  “Crazy Jimmy bit my wife”.  Sitting next to her in a bar, engaged in polite conversation, Crazy Jimmy unexpectedly leaned over and bit her on the shoulder.  One of the grad students asked “Did she get a rabies shot?”  “Nah.  Didn’t break the skin.  Freaked her out, though…”

Lessons?  Who the hell knows.  All i know is that my first CD, should i ever get around to recording one, shall be titled “Crazy Jimmy Bit My Wife”…

animal

* Gee whiz… it sure seems like i’m always hanging out in bars, doesn’t it?  Ummm…. right….

** No, he didn’t get his doctoral degree in the art of driving fast while going in a circle.  He’s just one of those rare humans who never lost touch with who he is as he climbed the scientific ladder.  Guy is fucking brilliant as a scientist, is a great coach and mentor, and one of the ballsiest managers i’ve worked with in my career.  With NO PRETENSE.  He drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon, $1/can, on Thursday nights at the biker bar… 

Friday Night Throw Down – Scores and Highlights

A successful party – celebrants suitably honored, attendees suitably hammered.  House?  Mostly unscathed.  Dog?  Mostly recovered.  Laundry?  Not even close to being done.  Leftovers?  Delivered to feed the cast and crew at a rehearsal today… 

– Perhaps a total of 80-100 people dropped by between 5:30 PM and 3:00 AM.  Fortunately, they came in waves, with the early arrivals including familes – with ridiculously cute children – a few pregnant women*, and folks with early bedtimes.  Late arrivals?  Last person to show up arrived at midnight.  Fortunately, one early arrival managed to park in my crabby neighbors yard before he got out his “no parking” signs.  Twit.  i hope someone puked in his yard.  Again.

– As a result of this event, i’m even more comfortable with my decision to remain very, very single.  i didn’t have to ask permission from, nor consult with, anyone before deciding to do this.  My house, i can do what i want!  i used to have parties on a much smaller scale when i was first married, but my ex-husband was uncomfortable with it, so i stopped.  The kids loved it when they were little – nothing more fun than watching grown ups get silly!  Now?  They still love it… and can play along!

– Naturally, we took advantage of the opportunity to taunt one of the celebrants when he went down for the count.  Didn’t really pass out from alcohol consumption**, just tired.  In addition to the standard “write on his face with markers” trick, we photographed him with a stuffed sea monkey i happened to have on hand, reminding all party goers to keep an open mind – “It’s not beastiality, it’s interspecies erotica”.  Oh, and we put a temporary tattoo on him.  A “tramp stamp” above his ass crack.  Suspect he won’t realize he has it til he’s showering at the gym next week.  Hopefully, we used the “Exit Only” tattoo…

– The Boy made it home, and was awestruck to find not one, but three kegs awaiting him.  One still half full of Guiness.  His eyes shone the way they used to on Christmas morning!  The look on his face was precious as he toyed with the idea of moving the keg to his bedside.  Auto-beerotica?

– Mr. Pickles loves parties.  An endless stream of people on hand providing attention.  Sticky children, covered with tasty food bits to lick.  Wayward jello shots to eat from the ground.  If you look closely in the lower left corner of the crowd shot, you’ll see that there is a large brown animal cruising the food table…  He hasn’t moved much today.  We were both on the move for over 8 hours – me moving food, drink and trash, him playing with new friends!  It’ll wear a pup out!  On the bright side? No one threw up on him this time***.

It was a good time.  One of my young friends thanked me – saying that my willingness to do this, to bring people together for celebrations, helps make the workplace more tolerable.  And i truly enjoy it – when i’m not beating myself over the head, saying “i’m too fucking old to be doing this!” 

Perhaps the entire situation is best summarized by a conversation with The Girl tonight.  i was sympathizing with her regarding the state of her parents.  Her Dad is living with a “crazy selfish bitch” and her Mom is hosting frat parties and doing keg stands in the back yard.  Her response:  “Shit, it’s even worse than that.  You guys are both probably getting more than either of us… That’s just sad…”

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* Also known as “designated drivers”.  One spouse has been pregnant at the last two parties, and begged me to have another one after this baby is born so she can eat the jello!

**  i’m not so sure… although he was up at 8:00 am this morning, cleaning my house!

*** Perhaps only because Mr. Pickles was outside when the young man who’d experienced far too much intimacy with a bottle of vodka decided to paint my living room floor.  A shade called “Grey Goose”.

Conversational Snippets

Called both of my children this week to warn them about the pending “Kegger*” on Friday.  They’ve both been through these before – and depending on their general mood, have enjoyed a few, and been annoyed at a few.

Conversation 1:  While talking with The Girl, she wasn’t sure she’d come home.  FInal exams loom, and she’d had a bad weekend over the holiday – so we also went over some frustrations she’s been experiencing adjusting to her Dad having a girlfriend.  His partner is 180 degrees out of phase with their Momma, and it’s an adjustment, to say the least.

daisyfae:  Remember, your Dad is one of the most patient human beings on the face of the earth!  He put up with all my shit, didn’t he?

The Girl:  [enthusiastically] Yeah, really…

daisyfae:  [scowling] You didn’t have to jump on that so damn quick, did you?

Conversation 2:  When talking with The Boy about the party, he asked if it was going to be a good one, or a lame one**  – we’ve had a few of each.   He wasn’t sure if he’d make the trek home for it or not…

daisyfae: Somewhere between 50-100 people at this one.  Mostly work folks, young-ish.  Some families early.

The Boy:  I don’t know.  Sounds like it might suck.  Will there be a keg?

daisyfae:  Of course…

The Boy:  I might come down after work…

Post Script:  In subsequent conversations with both The Boy and The Girl, i have finally come to the same conclusion they have reached regarding the new girlfriend.  She’s a bitch.  And if she makes their father happy, they’ll learn to deal with it – and are handling this situation very well – but they are both deeply disturbed by how they’ve seen her treating him.  It’s none of my business – beyond the fact that i want my children to maintain a healthy, close relationship with their Dad – but in fact, it also makes me very sad.  He doesn’t deserve to be barked at by an unappreciative, selfish woman.

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* i still have no idea how many people will be descending upon my house tomorrow after work.  Seems the guys forgot that “RSVP” thing…

** If it’s a Cast Party?  He’ll be in another state.  At the last one, it was the magical combination of Karaoke, Jello Shots and Theater People that had him digging out his eardrums with a butter knife at 4 am…

Lighting up the dance floor

Over the weekend, i attended a charity “April Fool’s Costume Ball” – DJ’d by none other than my friend Joey London, who flew into town on his solar powered Lear Jet to spin tunes for a good time and a good cause.  Completely stumped for costume ideas, i pulled an idea from my ass at the last minute, arriving at something fun, yet comfortable enough for a long stint on the dance floor.

A German General officer’s hat (quite similar to the one below) and my favorite party geek toys on my fingers (not to mention a collection of flashing LEDs attached to my hair, and various parts of my clothing)…. Wearing all black, it made for some big fun on the dance floor.

          

There was a theme to my costume…  Unfortunately, only a few folks guessed right away.  I was mistaken for a “lost raver” as well as “Madonna”…  A “Biker chick with robot hands” was another guess…

C’mon… It wasn’t that hard!  Take a guess…

Danced like a machine for 3 hours straight… Great crowd.  Youngest person there was probably 30.  Oldest?  60’s!  Didn’t matter!  So very nice to have an opportunity to dance, drum and be “tribal” in a non-club, non-meat market environment. 

i hope i never get too old for this… Sheer joy… and playing conga drums with my LED-encrusted fingers?  Major trip for those happy hippies who were eating the brownies!

 

Fourth and Park

Another blast from the past.  A Fourth of July Picnic in the Park – reconstructed from rabid e-mails discussions with friends as i processed the days events. 

DQ, my niece, lives next to Mom.   She divorced her first husband after he was sentenced to 4 years in prison.  At the age of 33, she had become engaged to a hardworking 19 year old man, BJ. 

BJ is a member of a wealthy construction family.  This is, of course, the sole reason my niece wriggled her way into his family – entrapping him and convincing him that she was the love of his life.*  He is a hardworking man, and has done wonders with their house.  He has also been a very good father for DQ’s 13 year old daughter, DQ, Jr. 

DQ and BJ hosted their first 4th of July barbeque, bringing both families together in preparation for their September nuptials.** They worked hard to be good hosts.   BJ fussed over Mom, and kept her in Budweiser, bratwurst and clean ashtrays.  There were probably 30-40 people milling around.  I went to be polite and supportive, but given the choice, i’d have rather been handing out K-Y Jelly in a maximum security prison shower room….

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Meeting Survival – Graduate Level Course

At a lovely Nerd-Herd workshop this week… and although i served as a poor substitute gave a presentation for an absent colleague this afternoon, and tomorrow will be chairing a morning session and serving as a panelist at the evening “senior leadership” session*, i have a hard time concentrating on the presentations – brilliant scientists in our field, from the U.S., Europe and even a representative from Asia this year… talking about their most remarkable results**.  So, how to stay awake after a late night of drunken dabauchery networking with colleagues?

At my last meet-a-thon, i resorted to rather primitive survival techniques.  Thankfully, this upscale yuppie infested resort meeting room has Wi-Fi.  Oh, yeah baby….  was able to score a seat in the back of the room, near the coffee urn and cookies under the guise of needing an outlet for my laptop. 

Cookies, coffee and the world wide interweb!  I have been able to engage and deflect incoming work missiles lobbed from 2000 miles away.  I have had time to catch up on my blog reading.  Electronically passing notes with drunken yab friends other attendees at the workshop.  Catching the up on local news from my hometown newspaper.  Reading book and movie reviews. 

Oh, and getting paid to do it.  Damn.  I’ve got the best job in the world this week….

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* A sign of desperation in Geekdom.  They couldn’t get anyone functional else to do this.  I’m also known to be easy (no, not like that) and can be persuaded with unlimited alcohol and the sunshine and blue skies of the California desert. 

** at least the stuff they’ve already patented… or work that is guaranteed to piss off arch-rivals. 

“Hell No! We Won’t Ho!”

union1.jpg

In a shameless attempt to get women to attend a party wearing as little as possible, a friend is hosting a birthday party this weekend with a “Pimp and Ho” theme. These folks are known to have themed parties, so it’s not a complete surprise. When i asked “what’s the motivation”, the birthday boy simply said “boobies”. Well, at least he’s honest about it.

But honesty notwithstanding, it sort of bugged me. Yes, it would be a fine opportunity for me to unleash the Model Year 2007 Bionic Twins in some fine girl hardware… And it is his birthday. Being a guy and all, that would pretty much prevent the need to bring a gift – he’d never notice the empty hands.

Initially, i thought i’d be attending with a friend. We considered a classic ‘role-reversal’ in our costumes – him wearing the leather corset, me wearing the classic pimp attire. For even more fun, we debated going as a pair of “Ho Ho’s“. Tasty, chocolately fun…

My friend couldn’t make it, unfortunately, and i was back to going solo.  It occurred to me that there was in fact nothing wrong with that idea. I’ve long been a flaming supporter of ‘sex-workers rights’ – for example, i’m always pissed off that the only people doing actual WORK at a strip club are the dancers, while everyone from the DJ to the guys who park the damn cars get a cut of the take. 

union2.jpg

Yes, it’s time to unionize! I’m trading in my leather corset for coveralls and bumper stickers! To have some fun with it, i’ve prepared buttons, posters and assorted swag encouraging the ladies to take charge of their own assets.

Ha!  Bet he’ll think twice before inviting me to another one of his parties again…. Hmmm… he’s quite the talented gourmet chef… maybe i should rethink this strategy?

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forgive the amateurish graphics and layout here… still learning.  there’s a reason i don’t do this for a living!