Wie geht es Ihnen? Okay, switching back to Texan: how y'all are? Thank you, thank you for not being so overly prolific... I skimmed through the majority of posts, looking for fic later today, if I've missed something please let me know! I got emails from zyrya with a link to a good bad!fic, and the need to mock is strong in this one... But enough about you. ME!! Heh heh.
Having been sufficiently warned about the freezing cold of the Great White North, um, Michigan, I am packed, mulitlayered, and sweating my ass off. It was 76° when I left Texas. Had to sit in the airport for a few hours before take-off (slightly disappointed there were no cavity searches - I flossed and spritz everywhere) I settle in at my gate with a book. Promptly am bored and uncomfortable so I began to see my potential lie-mates on an uncharted isle where polar bears and concrete pods co-exist. Apparently there was a marchingb and fest in Dallas. 15 teenagers (probably 15-16 years old?) hanging out showing signs of living in a hotel for several days. Meaning, dorky white kids with strawberry blonde hair done up in cornrows. With puka shells. And angry sunburns (ouch - itchy!) on their scalps. WITH GUITARS. That they obviously just bought the day before because they are tuning them OVER AND OVER AGAIN and helping each other find G. And not the fun one.
So you know, I am a complete guitar snob. My dad is a virtuoso (as well as my sister) and they are FANATICAL about technique, sound, etc. So I'm basically in hell. And they have the "cool" mom with them as a chaperone. The mom with the short spikey hair that tries to talk their lingo, gestures wildly, talks "the talk" and will basically be a complete fucking nuisance once any of these kids actually gets some touch. And they are ALL AROUND ME, OMFG.
I pull out my trusty "I can get lost in this no matter what" book which happens to be Under The Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer. Fantastic. Brilliant. And notorious amongst Mormons, as it serves as a type of expose`. GUESS WHAT THE BAND GEEKS ARE. Ha ha!! I see them chattering and stealing glances at me. So I hold my book higher and wait for them to tell me it's a pack of lies. But they don't want to actually DISCUSS anything, they just want to whisper and start (OMG, NO!!!) tuning their guitars again. *cries*
I spy a bar across the terminal. I go have a few margaritas. I am happy. I board, I get off, I find my friend, I am happy. I love her!! We are tearing up because we haven't seen each other in a year and a half. She's so pretty and nice and lovely and life is good. We stay up late in the night laughing over everything. Her husband decides to sleep in the living room and give us the bedroom. Chicky bow. No, no, we goof and poke fun and tease each other over past loser boyfriends (man, did SHE have bad taste. HA HA, Chrissy!!)
Fiday I get to see all of beautiful Ann Arbor. She lives right on the Huron River at the Arboretum so we go on a joggin trail (um, SHE runs, I walk.) and I see cardinals, Canadian geese, swans, and SNOW. SNOW!! okay, it's the crusty black, cigarette butt filled ice/snow, but I'm in Texas where we're sweating already. I take a cut through the North Campus of the University of Michigan and have fun people watching. Apparently I'm a freak for not wearing gloves and a scarf and black clothes while exercising. My baby blue sweats and white ball-cap make me stand out. Fuck it. I'm not used to the cold so I'm loving it.
For lunch we go Downtown and meet inlovewithnight (so sorry we were late!! I am the QUEEN of punctuality!) and she is a CHINA DOLL!! I wanted to put her on my shelf and dust her. Teeny tiny, chic in her awesome black jacket and cowl neck sweater, and even though they weren't the best shoes evah (I know, rain) awesome black boots. Just pulled together and lovely. Hair that BEGS to be played with. Sam, you have NO idea how hard it was to not reach over and start braiding. She and Chrissy hit it off, we talk of everything under the sun, and when my friend goes to the bathroom, I explain that my friend isn't in to Buffy because she hates SMG, and we laugh and say "but EVERYONE hates SMG. It's about all of the characters!!" Sam, after we walked you to the parking garage, we talked for two blocks about how sweet and cute you were!
Later, she takes me to the barn where she works nights and on the weekends. 35 horses, and she is the main caregiver. Dude, if you know nothing about horses, know this: that is a back breaking job. And my friend is TEENY!! 80 pound hay bales, and as the stables are set up wonky, you have to carry them and not have the benefit of a tractor. 60 pound bags of grain, the mares and their babies need their stalls cleaned thoroughly, and as the snow is melting, the mud around the stables and in the pastures are of BIBLICAL proportion. I have on a pair of hip waders and many times I almost pitch forward (into the mud, scum queen!) as my boot wants to stay in the mud while my body moves forward. I'm talking mud up to my knees with each step. And she does this everyday but Monday. 16 below? Too bad. Four feet of fresh snow? Horses gotta eat. Dude. She's fierce. I patted lots of furry noses and whickered to the mares, still pregnant and miserable.
Instead of going out, we are bushed, so off to the vid store. As Ann Arbor is so culturally diverse, we have an AWESOME selection of movies. What do we pick? The Grudge I wanted to get The Audition which boasts it is the most horrific movie ever. Poop. But. *spoiler alert!!* (If you do not want to be spoiled, scroll past the space. For the rest of you, hit CTRL+A as I put this next bit in white)
Holy hell. The Grudge scared the bejeezus out of me, in that totally creeped out way. So beautiful to look at, creepy without being overt. Okay, there are a couple of scenes that are overt, like Yoko with her missing jaw - FUUUUUU! But the very beginning when Bill Pulman just slips over the balcony? And then when SMG is on the bus, and you are supposed to be safe in daylight and that fucking FACE in the reflection on the window?? The best/worst part is my friend Chrissy has long dark hair, so she left the room for a second and came in crawling - like Samara from The Ring - GAH!!!! - with her hair hanging down and her mouth opened in that silent scream... FUCKER!! I love her. I LOVE to be scared.
If you haven't seen The Grudge, please do. Pretty to look at, creepy, not like The Exorcist or anything (in your face fright), but very much along the lines of Ringu for atmosphere. LOVED. IT.
Here is a photo booth pic I found back from our college days. I'm the dork on the right. Man, was that 11 years ago? Funny, we still look the same, although I'm a little plumper than my college days...
More downtown over the weekend, lovely food, her funny and wonderful husband, and then to his folks' house for Easter/Sunday dinner. Our dining companions were: Dayen, from the West Indies, and his girlfriend, Anik from southern India, Sanjeev and his wife and daughter Pretthi and Ana, from Northern India, Reiku, Phillipines, and her boyfriend, Carlton from Altanta. Everyone was hilarious and open and smart and we talked about everything under the sun, and you couldn't get a better cross-section of the folks who live in Ann Arbor than that.
Long walks (apparently the weather was gorgeous - I liked the overcast 50s for a change of scene) and delicious food from Zingerman's deli. The U of M campus is fantastic, and if it wasn't for the 6 months of winter, I could see myself living in such a great town. But Laura must have her warmth... Yesh. Tears and hugs and I get my bags, then more tears and hugs, then I board the plane. Had two elderly Middle Eastern men sit next to me on the plane. They discussed business in their native language most of the time, but the one closest to me would absent-midedly reach out to tickle the hand of the baby in front of us peeking over her mom's shoulder.
I was again reading my Jon Krakauer book (remember: my dad's family is old school Mormom: polygamists, came over with Brigham Young to settle Utah, so I KNOW the history) and eventually my neighbors ask me about my book. We get into a terrific discussion about Fundamentalism, and I explain that Joseph Smith would quote the Koran, and how it is an American version of Islam. Just terrific stuff. I see a man sitting across the aisle from us, looking like he's ready to jump in. I see the tell-tale markings of a Mormon (garments under his clothes, CTR ring) and am ready for HIM to tell me it's a pack of lies. He never does, but he shoots me a dirty look as we get off the plane. SOrry, dude. You should read more. My two companions are from Lebanon and are absolute gentlemen, carrying my luggage off the plane, shaking my hand and giving me a slight bow. Sometimes, I just love America. ALways something to keep your brain busy, you know?
Get that happy grin (you can't help it) coming down the gang-plank, see my car out front. Kids bouncing in the car happy to see mom, house is (semi) clean, life is back to normal. Trips are good.
*hums "Back to life/back to reality*
And I'd like to wish a happy birthday to my lovely friend beadtific. I wish you porn and happiness. Hee!! *smooshes you for good measure*