1. A bright red bow tie is always in style.
2. Try a yellow jacket in an interesting fabric. (Corduroy?)
3. Remove your baseball cap.
4. Smile, even if you have a snaggle tooth.
5. Brush your fur.
6. Don't forget to blow your nose.
7. Stash some treats in your pockets
8. Don't trot with your tongue hanging out
9. Don't throw up on the red carpet
10. If somebody else throws up, take off your jacket before you roll in it.
I'm so lucky. When I don't sign up for the Round Robin, sometimes Jane lets me substitute when one of the regular writers can't make it. The deal: You get a daily prompt and write for 10-12 minutes. Then you e-mail your writing off to your partner for the week. I got to sub for three days, and my partner Will was lots of fun. Sunday's prompt was Nirvana.
Well, hell. Last night I finally got to take Tom out for Valentine's. He had been sick, really sick, so I had rescheduled our reservation at Cajun Pacific for last night. Cajun Pacific is Tom's favorite neighborhood restaurant. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall with colored lights and beads hanging from the ceiling. There's an old-fashioned TV (but it wasn't on last night) and one waitress, Stacey. There are maybe seven tables.
I wore a dress with my green down vest on top, and black tights and black knee socks and motorcycle boots. In other words, I was dressed to the nines. I wore earrings, too and even put some mascara on at the last minute.
We were seated against the wall, wedged-in tight between two big black men who were sitting by the window, and a family of three, who sat right beneath the TV. When I say wedged-in, I mean there were maybe seven inches between our tables.
Stacey brought out two hot cornmeal muffins. I had to eat them both as Tom can't eat gluten. Even though they're made of cornmeal, they still contain wheat.
I ordered a glass of Zinfandel and Tom, some kind of Spanish white wine. We started with salads with house lime Tabasco vinaigrette and grated grana pandano cheese.
It had been a while since Tom and I had eaten out together. "Isn't it weird to be sitting this close to other people?" I said in a muffled voice. He agreed, but he loves the place. Though he had looked wary when the 4-year-old sat down beside him on the bench that runs along the wall.
We ordered our meal, New Orleans barbecue shrimp for me (beer-butter-garlic-Worstershire sauce) along with garlic mashed potatoes and greens, and a seafood jambalaya for Tom.
And soon, it got even weirder. We looked at each other and talked. It was fun! Of course, we didn't have a book or newspaper as we do at home, so we ordered a second glass of wine and looked at each other and talked some more.
I decided if I had never met Tom--if I were just meeting him for the first time, that I'd want to get to know him.
But here's what I wrote this morning in my notebook:
Nirvana. That's the prompt for today. What is Nirvana to me? I think it's happening right now. I'm sitting in bed writing with my book layout and my iPhone. Tom is on the other side of the door eating a Van's gluten-free waffle. We're both well.
My insightful publisher sent me this nice pint glass for Valentine's Day. (There was some candy involved, but it disappeared before photo time.)
Dr. Gina knew that Tom and I weren't feeling swell, so she brought the most incredible thing over. Fresh ginger juice––honestly, a whole jar of it that she had made with her juicer––and a jar of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Instead of pouring beer into the pint glass, I made what I call a Dr. Gina:
I filled the glass with ice and fizzy water. I added a spoon of ginger juice and a spoon of lemon juice. Gina had also brought over a grapefruit and some oranges, so I added juice from those, along with three splashes of vodka. Today I was completely well.
Tiny things this week: from Mary Ann's Kitty Store and you-know-where (below)
Looks peaceful. But suddenly it was dark and I slipped on a teeny jellyfish and went up in the air and down. Tom was way ahead, but turned right around. "Did you actually see me flip up-side down?" I asked later. "I heard you hit the ground!" I was fine, but soaking wet. Things aren't always pretty out there.
Date: February 2, 2012 12:36:13 PM PST
Linda, this is disorienting:
Sitting in the J'boro laundromat, 15 miles or so from Davy Crockett's birthplace, watching television, watching John Wayne's The Alamo, in fact. John Wayne as Davy Crockett, Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie, and Frankie Avalon as Smitty, one of Davy's Tennessee volunteers. Frankie sent me over the Moviegoer edge. What would Walker Percy have done? While thinking of Dr Percy I listened to a customer describe her depression and change of medication. She's now on Cymbalta (rather than her old medicine) AND Haldol. She was as friendly and chirpy as could be, discussing housekeeping and dishwashing and such with another lady ...
How are you? What's cooking tonight?
I bought a Godiva chocolate bar today at the discount grocery.
Date: February 2, 2012 8:29:38 PM PST
Subject: Re: disorienting
I love your email. Can I post it?
I'm OK, really excited because the publisher I'm working with now wants a totally different style for this book--a loose sketchy style that I've never done other than when talking on the phone. But I just found this out today and the book is due end of this month. That is rilly soon. Today I had lunch with Mary Ann, my book friend. When I told her about the schedule she asked, "Do you have a plan?" I was stunned. What a good idea. Of course I didn't have a plan. But now I will make a plan.
Tonight we had takeout--a green bean salad, bread that Tom bought especially for me (covered with seeds), hummus, and spinach salad with slimy mushrooms. I mixed some wine with some aspartame lime/tangerine Safeway fizzy water. Chocolate with salt on it and barbeque potato chips for dessert with leftover coffee ...
Mary Ann and her plan (and me) at Mandalay for lunch
We did not jog. We did not walk. We drove up to Sutro Park for a few minutes. Then we came back home and ate in the living room because my stuff was all over the kitchen and there wasn't space to eat.
When I come home and look at photos I've taken of the things we've seen my heart jumps for joy.
All those years–half a century–when I never took a photo. To think I won't be able to see again what I saw then. But I couldn't be bothered with film. Can you imagine starting to shoot something and thinking: "Wait. How many exposures do I have left on this roll of 24? Is it really worth shooting this picture? Nah."