These boots are made for walking

Monday afternoon. After a delightful weekend of shopping, entertainment, interacting with the parental units, and trying out the South Beach diet, it's good to be home. (Yes, I'm at work, but that's not a bad thing.)

Here's a topic by topic discussion of each of the above:
1. Shopping - I am officially almost done with my shopping for Christmas. WooHoo! We hit the outlet stores at Cabazon, on the way to Palm Springs, on Saturday morning and they were a gold mine. In addition to getting my mom an outfit and a half at the Liz Claiborne outlet, I also found a lipstick pink, patent leather purse and matching wallet from Longchamp (I'll take a picture and's that cute!), a wonderful pair of Cole Haan loafers in natural with a slight (1-1/2") heel, and a summer weight sweater with royal, lemon, and white stripes, a keyhole closure at the back neckline, and jeans with matching piping at the front pockets and down the side seams in royal. Hmmm, all but the first item were for me? Well, yesterday I managed to get presents for Daddy, Chris, Dan II and Howie, my nephews (Dan II is the eldest and is SO MUCH like my brother Dan at that age that it's frightening; Howie is their five year old that I swear is going to be a huge defensive end, just like Howie Long), and half of Tracy's present, too. That leaves me with Dan and Geneva (brother and his wife) and the rest of Tracy's present. I think I'm going to get some kind of gourmet food gift certificate for Dan and Geneva because things are sort of tight for them now and I am not going to get them useless clutter when what they really need is food. Tracy's little decorative hat box that I bought right under her nose on Saturday (I told her it was for my mom) has already got little book labels ("From the library of" with an adorable puppy for decoration) and a Bill Bryson book, so I just need something small and entertaining to fill the box up a little more. I'm leaning toward either a Bliss gift or a Fountains of Wayne tshirt. Why Fountains of Wayne? Read on...

2. Entertainment - Saturday night's Fountain of Wayne/Matchbox 20 concert was totally awesome. It was a little discouraging to see so many people there with their middle aged moms (we were trying to fool ourselves into thinking we were hip and/or edgy...the reality of it just made us cranky), but the concert was actually a lot edgier than you'd have thought. Their CDs are pretty mellow, but we've come to the conclusion that their managers told them to turn down the guitar for the recordings, because they were just blazing Saturday night. Tracy enjoyed the concert so much that we had to run out yesterday and get the Fountains of Wayne CD.

Last night, we went to see the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim take on the Phoenix Coyotes at The Pond in Anaheim. It was a really fun game, not particularly well played by either team but still good, clean entertainment. Heck, where else in America can you see an organized, popular, televised sport where the sound of someone's skull smashing against glass is accompanied by raucous cheers from the crowd? The home town Ducks won, which was an added bonus.

3. Interacting with Parental Units - Going out anywhere with my mom is always an exercise in restraint for me and source of great entertainment to Tracy. (It's easy to laugh when it's not your mom tapping her water glass with her spoon in time with the jazz band!) We decided to meet my folks at Downtown Disney, figuring that a. Tracy could get her Disney fix (she's a fanatic) and b. there are lots of people making lots of noise and other distractions so that my mom's antics might not be as noticeable. We were actually doing pretty well right up until the end, just before we left, when the Spoon Incident occurred, although I have to say that the band sort of brought it upon themselves by singling my mother out earlier in the meal when they were doing their "easy banter with the audience" schtick. If you just studiously ignore her wackiness, she will generally settle down nicely but, by singling her out for attention, they just wound her up so they shouldn't be too bent because she decided to cut loose and enjoy herself. I tried to lunge for the spoon, but it was a wide table and she saw me coming. Fortunately for everyone, we'd paid our bill, it was time to leave, and I did...dragging her behind me. Why my father and I haven't died of embarassment long ago is beyond comprehension. I'd like to say that this is an isolated incident, but it's definitely not. There's the time in college where she danced with the bartender at the bar in Tijuana. Another favorite is when we were in line outside a theater to see a play in downtown LA when suddenly Mom starts sneezing and comes out with, "Damn, I hate fake fur!" The woman wearing said fake fur turned around quickly, shot Mom a deadly look, and then haughtily turned back around and ignored her. Truthfully, I think it might have been rabbit, but I was affecting my patented "I don't know this lunatic and I'm not sure why she's hanging around with my dad and I" pose, so I couldn't say for sure. Yes, my mother is entertaining...if you're not related by blood to her. If I start getting like that, someone please promise to hospitalize me somewhere pretty, OK?

4. Trying out the South Beach diet - You know it's a bad thing when you're suddenly crying out for fruit or a piece of bread, anything except more meat. By Saturday morning, which, by the way, was only Day 3 for me, I was feeling horrible and, literally, nauseated beyond belief, so I cheated and drove through Carl's Jr (Hardees, for those on the east coast) and snarfed down a Sunrise Sandwich (on an English muffin) before picking Tracy up at the airport. I tried, I honestly did, for the rest of the weekend, but having to run to the ladies' room at an outlet center really just about cinched it for me. I don't have a gallbladder (it was taken out in 1996, not uncommon among those that lose a lot of weight, or so I've been told) and all of the extra fat combined with a lack of any sort of starch to absorb some of the excess was a really bad combination. I officially waved the white flag last night at the hockey game and ordered up a pile of garlic fries. Yes, there's lots of grease in that, too, but the starch in the potatoes did its job and I felt fine afterwards. I'm not sure what I'm going to try at this point, but it's not going to be any of the "eschew one food group or another" just brings out the worst in me.

OK, I think I'm up to date now. I'll be rejoining my NaNo project tonight, so I'll report in tomorrow about how the reunion goes. I'm thinking that I might just write the rest of the story the way that I want it to go, without appropriately revising the first part that's already written. Yes, that will make the novel itself unreadable, but it's pretty much that way at this point regardless, and I just don't have the time or the inclination to go back and clean. We shall see how that works.


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