Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Taking a moment to breathe

No matter what it looks like I haven't gone completely lazy on this blog. I'm just taking a little time to breathe. But I thought I should check in to see how my blog-buddies are doing. I don't want y'all to think I melted off the face of the earth (although that's entirely possible to do!)

It's been so hot the past few days that I've been staying inside as much as possible. I hear that when it hits the 120's, it's not even "cool" to go out in the afternoons. Even a houseful of scorpions won't be able to run me out of the house then, so I guess that will make for a good time to write! In the meantime, I've been making lists of things I want to do - you know, all those things you put off because of lack of time, laziness, or just letting the world get in the way. Here's my list so far (and I don't want to hear no mess about all the food-related items...):

1. Go back to Olive Garden with my family and spend at least 3 hours there (just like you see in the commercials). I want everyone to order something different so I can try a taste of EVERYthing. I want to sit there and relax so long that all the people still waiting for a table will really hate us.

2. Hit this new spot my sis-in-law told me about:
early on, nice live jazz, with plenty of table-seating and good appetizers; later on, a DJ and more crowded, but we won't care because we'll have our table already. I can't remember the name of the place right now, but I want to say it sounds like "Nodu," Nibo"... Something like that. At any rate, I'm excited because, supposedly, it's for the grown and sexy. Get to dress up and see people wearing something other than shorts, tanks and flip-flops.

3. Go to a non-Vegas casino. I'm not big on the gambling thing, but I want to see what the big deal is about all the different places on the reservations. (I've been to Vegas a few times & pretty much stroll the slots with my cup of nickels and free drinks... More on that later.) I'm pretty sure the reservations will be a scaled back version of the Vegas houses, and I'm curious to see what the food will be like. And then...

4. ...Go to Vegas. And this time, catch some of the shows. I swear, I never have made it past the buffets or the cheap-o slots -- not that I don't plan to eat, but maybe I'll actually go into a place that doesn't have big steel warming trays lined up against the wall! Once before, I spent one evening people-watching, just absolutely fascinated by the assortment of weirdos who hang out in such beautiful hotels. (Also, while I'm there, I want to go to the one casino that features the rollercoaster... Or maybe that's at more than one place???)

5. Drive over to Texas and Arkansas to see some of the extended fam. It will be nice to take a road trip that doesn't take forever or involve crossing the border of Canada. Of course, this means I have to hurry and sell this truck AND wait for gas prices to come down to a little cheaper than the price of gold.

6. Get me some nice stationary and write some real paper-and-ink letters. I almost didn't know how to address the envelope when I wrote my grandma "Aunt Ollie." That whole envelope and fold 'n stamp thing just taxed my brain! It's so much easier to hit a SEND button.

7. Get back to work on the family tree. It's taking me longer to do that thing than it took to create the family. There's just not enough time in my life for both the family tree and the writing. As it is, you see I'm struggling to break out of hermit-writer mode.

8. Do more reading on writing. I took time out the other day to catch up on John Baker's blog. I tell you what, that man has so many encouraging and useful words for the writer. I read through his various "lessons" & felt like a really hungry person pulling up a seat at a table set for kings. (And wouldn't you know that some of his advise was to not forget to do things other than write.)

9. Cut my hair. Yep. I'm tired of this mop. Arizona's climate is not exactly friendly to ethnic hair. Like I said, I don't have oodles of time these days & the whole hair-care thing is working a tired nerve. I'm trying to work up to going ultra-short because that would be the easiest. Just wash & oil the crown and go. Of course, not everyone can pull off the short look. And I don't want to end up with one of those styles that takes more time than longer hair does - you know, having to gel it, slick it, tie it... At least with longer hair, I can always snatch this stuff back into a tail or bun. I'm not a fan of sleeping in curlers, doo-rags, wraps, etc. Shoot, I tried to sleep in some sponge curlers the other night & almost gave myself a heart attack while I was still on scorpion watch. Sponge curlers are cruel. I slept right out of one of them bad boys, woke up and felt something next to my face... Hey. I rolled and hit the floor like a SWAT trainer. So, uh...yeah. I need a low-maintenance shortie style. I might need to go try on some wigs before I make a commitment.

10. Go with my girlfriends to my new favorite place to eat at least once a month. First of all, I think it's very important for women to make time for each other. We get all caught up with work, life drama, and waiting to exhale that we forget to come together every now and then to just breathe. Breathe in some shared chick wisdom, empathy, encouragement, tears - both the laughing and crying kind. Just to be women together.

Second of all, Famous Dave's has bread pudding that makes my mouth go "Yippee!" I ain't lying, I have never had such a combination of light/fluffy/cool/sweet heaven on my tastebuds. It's just a joy. Truly. (And it comes with enough spoons to share, so you don't feel like a blimp when you leave.) Then, when and if I get tired of Famous Dave's , I guess the girls and I can rotate to one of the other 3 million places they have to eat around here. (There's a little bar and grill that I noticed a week ago... I might need to cruise back by there and see what the menu looks like.)

11. Spend some time not writing, not working on the Tree, and not doing anything that restricts my mind to moment, time or place. I guess I just want to spend some time to let my mind breathe. (What is it with me and this Breathe theme???)

12. Take more pictures. Of the family, of the scenery, of life as it's happening. AND actually get the pics developed (or printed) and labelled. New photo album time. Years from now, when people look at the photos, they'll know who's who & exactly why they're laughing with their mouth hanging all open - because I will not only label the pics, but make little notations. So there.

13. Donate to a couple of those funds for kids. I'd like to pick two charities: one for local kids and another for a child anywhere in the world. (I'm too fickle, selfish and moody to say that I could be a Big Sister volunteer. I could just see myself breaking dates with the child whenever I had a mood swing.)

14. Keep adding to this list. I don't ever want to get to a point where I don't crave breathing new air. (Damn! There's that breathe thing again. I need to set some time aside to explore this with my inner psychologist.)

So there you have it: the Do List. Let's just all pray for October to get here. For now I'm not trying to do anything that requires walking more than 20 feet from my ride until this heat shuts down a little.