Mar 17 2010

St. Patty’s Day Surprise

Hey Kids.

Well.  I came home this afternoon to three humongo boxes sitting heavy on my front stoop.    After a moment of “what could this be” I glanced at the return address:  Lake Whales, FL.  Oh no.  I had a vauge flashback to two weeks ago.  I was sitting in the Nashville airport, massively hungover from a bachelorette night out, when my mother rang to inform me she’d secured some gem antiques at an estate sale while on a trip to visit my grandmother in Florida.  Something about a few tea cups and a little oil painting.  This did NOT look like a few tea cups.

After breaking quite a sweat single handedly lugging all three massive parcels into my foyer, I began to rip open the biggest one with some keys.  It was really taped up.   I finally got the sucker open and found ANOTHER box nestled inside it.  Seriously.  So I tore into that box as well, dove into a sea of packing peanuts, and eventually surfaced with dozens of bubble wrapped dinner ware.   Couple of tea cups my ass, this is a full set of China!!!!

After 45 minutes of unwrapping I’m staring at 10 sets of 7 piece antique Wedgwood china.  It takes up my entire dining room table (which only seats 6 btw).  I call my mother.

“Hey, Burrito!”  She answers with a perk.

“A few tea cups?” I bark.


“You said you were sending me a few tea cups.”

“Oh they came!  Yay!  What do you think?”

“I think you’re confusing me with a 70 year old English woman.”

“You don’t think the tea cups are pretty?”

“The tea cups are very pretty.  So are the demitasses, the salad plates, the dinner plates, the dessert plates…”

“Oh dear, I thought it was just the tea cups.”

“You didn’t realize you were getting a full set of china?”

“We’ll YOU are getting a full set of china, actually.  Won’t it be nice for luncheons?”

“Yes mother, because I throw so many luncheons.”  I don’t have anyone to invite to a luncheon, let alone the know how to throw one.

“Is the painting there?  Have you opened it yet?” My mom quickly inserts this new subject to keep me from thinking to much on the luncheon tip.

“I’m afraid to.”

“Well I have to get ready for a St. Patrick’s day party.  Your father and I are going to have a beer.  Call me when you open it.”

I gingerly walk over to the remaining package, take a deep breath, and begin to open it.  Dear God.

I pull away the last piece of bubble wrap to expose an antique oil painting in a distressed gold wood frame.  The painting is a portrait of a fat child in a red dress with an elaborate turban on it’s head.  The turban is crowned with an ostrich feather and the child is delicately picking flowers from a nearby basket and…eating them.

I go to the fridge to get a beer.  It’s St. Patty’s day, but I haven’t felt like a drink until this moment.   Returning to the painting I look at it for a few moments pondering. Then suddenly I recall Ceviche saying she “saw it and thought of me”.  My mind fills with self conscious questions.  Did I look like that as a child?   Is this a comment on my eating habits?  Turban?  I ring Ceviche again.  She answers with exciting anticipation.

“So, what do you think?”

“It’s a baby.” I say


“It’s a fat baby in a red dress.”


“Small child really.  Well, big boned child.  It’s eating a flower I think.”

“I thought it was of an elegant woman.”  She’s serious, I can hear it in her voice.

“An elegant fat baby woman.”

“Well I couldn’t really see it that well when I was bidding.  It was over my head.  This other man kept coming up behind me and bidding more.  We got into a pissing fight.”

“You mean a pissing contest?”

“Yes, a pissing contest. That’s what I mean. He was very sneaky.  But I won!”

“You sure did.

“I have to go.  Your father looks so cute, he’s wearing his Irish Yoga t-shirt under a blue blazer.”

“Have fun.”

I hung up the phone and continued to stare at the painting.  And then I went and got another beer.  I drank the beer, hoping it would all make sense with a little buzz.  On the contrary.  It looked odder.

I think I’ll just put it on my wall and make some tea.  I certainly have the accoutrement now.

Happy St. Patricks to me.


Mar 3 2010

The LA Party Scene, Part 3: Frat-tastics

Hey Kids!

Now understand that I’m hardest on the ones I love.  I once was an active participant and believer in the frat scene, spending four hard years in the Greek system.  But, now I see those days as something of the past.  Something for the college kid…and perhaps the recent post grad.  But 30, 35, 42, LOCK IT UP!

You know who you are.  You play beer pong on a regular basis, say things like “black out” when referring to a good time, and consider mesh basketball shorts acceptable social garb (they’re not BTW).  The only difference really from your life in a frat/sorority and now is…well very little.  Frat-tastics don’t change, they ex-change. School for a day job, a frat house for a real house, dues for a mortgage, and kegs/wine coolers for long necks/yellow tail.  You’ll be able to spot these types by their love of hats.  Guys love the baseball cap (all varieties) and girls love the cowboy hat (beat up variety).

A frat-tastic party will almost always revolve around a sporting event.  Either at a bar with lots of beer on tap or at whoever’s home has the biggest flat screen and meanest grill set up.  Frat-tastic guys are the only guys who can get away with slapping your ass in front of your boyfriend and frat-tastic girls are the only girls who can claim to be your best friend a mere two glasses of chardonay after you’ve met.

In my most recent frat-tastic encounter I ended up at a sport bar with loads of fresh out of law school types in full gym gear (apparently showering and changing after playing basketball was too much of a chore). They were eating a meaty fried something and sucking back suds with an “I am sex” attitude.  Don’t know how they had the confidence, they just did.  Next to the bros were a table of corresponding hos huddled together like a judgey sorority clique in full makeup and going out regalia. They finger waved at me with french acrylics.  After a very fake “how are you! OMG what have you been doing?  Its so good to see you” moment, most of them managed to brush off my questions about their career (claiming they were merely teaching something or working in real estate) and quickly turned the focus back on me.  Very cheeky and smart.   I forgot how good these types are at deflecting.

“How is acting, going?” They asked

“Awesome.  I just booked a film playing Matt Damon’s love interest.”


“No, not really.  But I am in a funny play that goes up next month”


“No, not really. I’m lying about that too?”


“Boob fart.”


This conversation wasn’t going to have much depth.  I could tell.

“Really.” I said “Did you hear so and so got engaged?”

“Oh we know!!!!!  Isn’t she lucky!  It’s going to be a lilac and cream color theme, in Laguna, so pretty, we’re all bridesmaids!  Did you see the rock? So jealous.”

I tried to suck back the chunks.

“So jealous.” I said.

“Do you have a boyfriend, Burrito?”

“In fact I do?”

“Is he the one?”

“He’s one of a kind, that’s for sure.”

“But do you think you guys will get married.”

“Not all of us can be as lucky as so and so, right?  I gotta go.  Spinning class in the morning. Byeeeeeeeeeeee.”

I left as swiftly as I could without looking like I was fleeing.  Just when I thought I was in the clear an old frat buddy of mine ran up behind and goosed me. I was a little perturbed, a little violated, and a little complemented.

“Eh! Watch it.” I said.   He winked at me.  And, yes, I winked back.  Old habits die hard.