Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who I Met and What I Saw

First things first.

This was to be the first of many blades I would see at the Excalibur that evening.

Hippie-sters at the bar where we saw Brad Garrett and Carl bought me a $20 Grey Goose vodka tonic. Thanks Carl!

These are the other blades I was talking about. Sadly, TFDU contained no full Monty.

Feeling the love.

More love.

She just looks so dang happy.

Again with the love.

Before they stole the flask away.

Sisters from some other misters.

Copa, Copa Cabana.

This shirt is What Happened In Vegas.

Just yum that was followed by a lemon drop martini. Double yum all the way.

Ready? One, two, three: Awwwww.


The Tuttle's can bomb their own photos, thank you very much.

Blue Steel.

I kept telling them they had the 'same energy'. Yeeeaaah.

City of Light?

The only picture I got with the bride.

Are we human? Or are we dancers?


Some members of the tribe.

And click here dears to feel the love that just keeps coming. If I took pictures like this guy, I'd protect them too.

I am Vesuvius and I'm a dancer.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Your mother will have warned you—repeatedly—about bed bugs so after First Things First (that being a stop at In 'n Out), when the bellhop brings the bags to your room, you will pick them up off the floor and place them on the chair. Because you grudgingly told your mother you would.

(You will refuse to go so far as to check under the bedsheets for drops of blood. You hate media hysteria. At least you think you do, until, at a greasy buffet, Le Gourmand Vulgaire points out that anti-bacterial wash is doing more harm than good, and you use it anyway)

You will fall back onto a bed that is more comfortable than any you have ever slept on. Sleep for two hours, three, maybe four. Pile with your husband's family but not your husband into a car and drive down the strip to a hotel casino. When the divorcee's make divorcee-humor jokes to each other, laughing heartily but making everyone else uncomfortable, you will try to make another joke to relieve the awkwardness. No one will laugh.

The bachelor party will have started hours ago. You will go back to the hotel room to get ready. You will have been a little nervous, in the days before, about this party. You won't know anyone there other than the bachelorette. Then you'll get to the party, where they're handing out what can only be described as penis tchotchkes, playing penis games, laughing at penis pictures on the walls. Someone will hand you champagne. Nobody bothers much with introductions because already it's starting to feel like you've always known these people. These beautiful people who are too beautiful to be so nice.

You and a friend you have just met will declare that more alcohol is required if you are to make it through the Thunder From Down Under. There will somehow be both too much and not enough thunder You are embarrassingly shocked, and yet not shocked at all. There are a few naked bums and lots of pirate costumes. The tone feels slightly off. Wonder: What is the RIGHT tone for a male strip show?

You will laugh at the bachelorette, pulled up onto stage, given a private—ahem—viewing. Spirits are high. The last time you partied like this, with a group of other women, you were all dressed like teenagers, like brightly wrapped candies or Christmas presents. Now you all look more like sexy martinis. A bartender will shout for free drinks for the women at the bachelorette party. They want to pour it into your mouth straight from the bottle. When you turn away, shaking your head, the others will laugh good-naturedly.

A man named Lion will escort you to a club, deposit you in a VIP area, reassure you he's going to take great care of you ladies, then disappear. This is your first real club experience, and you're feeling spoiled and important. You and these women get to dance together behind a rope. There are lush velvet benches wrapping around. Men edge their way to the rope, looking in sideways. Like vampires, they cannot enter without an invitation. A tiny blonde woman wearing a warrior princess get-up will come round every ten minutes to refresh your drinks. You ask her to pose for a picture. Later, you will search her out to love-tip her, but she will be nowhere found.

At this point in the evening you are all hot on drink and declaring openly your love. You love them, they love you, they love eachother, everyone everywhere is love love love. Who can blame you? You dance dance dance. You realize it is someone's job to come round with a towel and wipe up all the alcohol you spill. You find yourself in a gogo cage with all the other women at the party. On your raised platform, surrounded by people below watching, it feels as if there's only ever been the group of you. Those of you who are in relationships somehow emit a vibe to the crowd and no one bothers you. Those of you who aren't emit a different vibe, no one minds. You used to be so uptight about these things. Looked down on clubs. Worried overmuch about how you looked. Now it doesn't matter. You are dancing, you are young, your breasts are—it must be said—spectacular, and surrounding you is this unexpected tribe that has never been yours. But is, tonight.

You leave the bar and end up in another. Your group constantly fluxes in number. People leave and come back with unlikely quantities of food. Twenty sausage mcmuffins, fifty chicken nuggets, one order of fries. It is Vegas, it is 2 am, and the only thing open appears to be McDonalds. Two different people will basically fall out of their chairs when they find out you're NOAH'S wife. You're married to Noah??? You watch them stare, searching your face anew, trying to reconcile the person your husband was in high school with what they see now. Your husband is infamous here. Somehow, that night, you end up back at your hotel room. You think you kissed the bride on the head, well, you get kissy at weddings. Your room is on the 20th floor and has a view of the strip. Vegas is glittering. You tumble into bed. Later, much later, your husband comes home. He wakes you opening the door, your eyes crack open just long enough to see it: Vegas at dawn. Dawn is beautiful everywhere.

It will seem there are too many people gathered outside the chapel, but somehow you will all fit into a tiny room. The bride comes out and everyone cries. She is crying, you were not expecting her to cry, and fear you might sob. She is radiant, she is trembling. You all cheered heartily when the groom walked in and now here's the bride and no one can breathe. It is not the polite warmth directed at other brides at other weddings. It is a moment. A holy pause. An intimate room of people, intent on one thing, experiencing one all-encompassing collective emotion. Nobody moves except this bride in her 40's glam, film noir dress, her vintage veil, her lively eyes. Nobody moves until finally she says, 'husband-weird!', and you all laugh.

After the wedding, the air actually crackles. Cocktail hour passes on a balcony that makes you dizzy. It is warm, it is evening, the lights and eyes are bright. Someone will indicate that it's time to progress downstairs, to the dinner. You will cram with an impossible number of people, including the bride and groom, into an elevator. You are all a bit dizzy, you are all much too loud. The elevator stops early, the doors move open—to Dede, the patriarch, and Shirley, his wife. The passengers raise their hands, spill their drinks, cry an uproarious welcome. As if by cue you will all take up the cheer: "Dede, dede, dede, dede!" You are making the elevator bounce and no one is afraid. Dede is a Czech, he likes a good party. "Free drinks for everyone!" he will cry. You holler like the pagans you've become.

Again, you feel spoiled and exclusive. An elegant room, behind dark glass. Visible to but apart from the hoi-polloi. Waiters bring tiny tasty sushis and glasses of spirits. These people have shown you the best of everything; you know you'll never return to Vegas again because why slum a city after you've done it like a queen? Eat, drink, the love fest is on again. This wedding, these people. So intimate. Everyone is a cousin or a friend from way back. You'll keep telling them they're so beautiful, you can't help it, they are. Your husband strikes up a bromance, what better a place? Everyone is overcome. They are pulsing and rolling around you, swelling like a warm, joyful wave. A bride, a groom, a long time coming, a love, surrounded by love. You declare it openly because of the drink, but the feelings aren't false. This is your husband's history, his other life. They seem to accept each other as they are. You will ask them to be your surrogate friends. They will throw wide their arms and cry, they are your real ones. They open up and envelop you. It is warm, the air is thick, there is always room for one more.

They next morning, in the day light, everything has changed. You end up at a buffet, greasy serving spoons, the scents of too many foods intermingling and upsetting your party-tummy. You're all exhausted, you've wrung yourselves dry. The next day you will repeat, get me out of Vegas. You hate Vegas, the people, the excess, the waste. When you get home the dark prairie will sooth and comfort your eyes. But it doesn't matter, none of that matters. You are wasted, but before that was something else. Other cultures have names for what you encountered, what you touched. A clan, an energy, a raucous, reveling joy. You've felt it at other weddings and once at a Tori Amos concert. Something wild, something maybe primitive. The words spirited away come to mind.

Anything good that Vegas has to offer, you have had it. Maybe someday you will have a little more, but for now, this was enough. Good food. Good drink. Good people. Wild nights. Wild joy.


I am Vesuvius, and when I panic I say, "Grey Goose".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maybe I'll Elope

I secretly believe that my brother by law, Le Gourmand Vulgaire, was inspired by The Hangover and so it is that we are going to a wedding in Vegas.

I'm so happy it's Z getting married because you know there is going to be good food.

Delicious food.

This bride and groom know how to have a good time.

I have my Marie Claire and People magazine and my Jacqueline Carey novel (the one Nathan Fillion reads to me) all ready to go. I have a black dress and a slinky top and a big flashy Vegas cocktail ring. And I have a new set of makeup to beat. (Thanks mama!)

Now if I could only get it packed. I think it's gonna be a late night. I can't get anything done with the girls around and I've given up.

So: Here is to weddings and babies and haircuts from your sister and moms who buy you new make up even though you're 29 years old.

Here's to Z's reception dinner, which is gonna be a knock-out.

Here's to S, le belle bride, who is, I believe, of French ancestry and so pretty and petite that I always feel like the hulking Nordic giant with the missing eyes when I am with her. Really it is a testament to how much I love her that I am willing to be seen with her at all.

Here's to traveling without kids. (Love ya kids. See you Sunday! Don't forget to tell Gramma your knock-knock joke with the non-sensical--I mean, adorable--ending at least four thousand times).

Here's to hoping for a few hours by the pool with Mr. V.

To the few hours where I have heard we are getting free non-alcoholic drinks.

And to the one meal where there is also rumored to be free world class sushi.

Wish me luck!

(I'm not gonna gamble, but isn't that what you say when you go to Vegas?)

I am Vesuvius, and I don't bet on cards but I do bet on cock fighting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Strangers Without Candy

Our landlord is trying to sell our house. This is an absolute nightmare to me. It means I have people coming into my home when I'm not there—the realtors have politely told me to leave during the showings—and it feels like a huge invasion of my privacy.

I don't really like having anyone into my home at all, because I’m ashamed of it. It's a shitty place, guys. I'm just being straight up about that. I have never lived in a nice house since I left my parent's, but this is the worst. It is a shitty falling apart little box, and it's too small to fit all our stuff. Like, no linen or hallway or coat closet small. Which means that we still have boxes under the desk in the living room and hampers filled with sheets and towels and extra hangers littering our bedroom. And usually, the house is in a state of a huge toy and laundry mess. We're pretty good about keeping up with the kitchen, because a dirty kitchen is just gross. But the girls' toys and clothes, boots and shoes, backpacks, videos, books, and all the laundry that I don't have room for, it's strewn all over the house and crammed into corners and closets—stacked willy-nilly on the crooked closet shelve, packed into a corner on N's side of the bed and forgotten. Because when you have a shitty house, you don't really notice it. You don't want to. You might step for seven months around a houseplant in your shower and not notice it until one day you slip and come up clutching fern leaves and dirt.

Ok, maybe not all of you have avoidance issues like me. But when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to ignore it and hope it goes away. For instance, up until about two years ago, I had hanging in my closet two dresses I borrowed from Ashleigh Bryant in approximately 1997. I never returned them because once I hit a certain point—a year, maybe—and I still had them? I was feeling too ashamed. Returning them would be dragging the issue back up to the light of day. I didn't want to face that shame by returning the dresses. Hi, here are two homecoming dresses I borrowed eight years ago, I bet you're really thankful. You'll probably want to wear them tonight for drinks with your husband, maroon crushed velvet and empire waists are so hot right now.

The shame was painful. But I couldn't throw them out, they were Ashleigh's. And so the dresses hung, unreturned and unused, in my closet through college, my wedding and the births of my two children, red and black remnants of the glory of the 90's, until at some point on Birch Street I finally sucked it up and admitted Ashleigh wouldn't want them anymore and took them to Goodwill.

Ashleigh Bryant, please forgive me.

Now: As if the closets weren't enough, there's also the girls room. It's terrible. It's tiny, there are two of them in there with a toy box, no dresser, and two mattresses on the floor. We're waiting 'til we can afford bunk beds—now let's just all have a big fat laugh right here, because I'm telling you true, we are never going to be able to afford bunk beds. But Noah and I are hanging onto this bunk bed delusion, because it allows us to not be overwhelmed by guilt that Ayla sleeps on a twin size mattress on the floor and little Indy sleeps on a crib size mattress on the floor that no longer has any sheets that fit it and we drape it over with blankets or sheets that are too big and pull loose every night. Delusions are a powerful force in life and I urge you not to overlook them. Also, in subjects not at all related to delusions, I would just like to point out that I love my job because I know I'm not going to be doing it for the rest of my life, I have the exact body size and shape as that of Christina Hendricks and therefore can't wait to don my swimsuit, I don't spend that much money at Starbucks, my children are not at all willful or defiant but just incredibly tenacious, Velveeta with Rotel over noodles is an antioxidant-packed meal, and my hair is not thinning it's just still falling out from the hormone changes that took place after the birth of my youngest. Four years ago.

Now if you'll excuse me, Nathan Fillion is coming over to make margaritas and read me Jacqueline Carey novels.

Seriously, I don't know what I'd do without him.

What was I saying? Oh yeah--So they're showing our house today and tomorrow. This means that I have to scramble around cleaning in that terrible hour after dinner is eaten and I need to bathe the kids and brush their teeth and get them to bed, clean up the kitchen, pack school lunches, rotate the laundry, and do whatever else I've been putting off for days like school projects and hocking coupon books (wanna buy one?). The hour when I'm really hoping to get it done fast so I can sit down before I have to get up an hour later to go pick up Noah. So there's the cleaning thing, which you know, sucks. And then we have to leave our house. At bedtime. So that Strangers can inspect my dirty laundry with all the privacy they deserve.

So it's Monday lunch time, and I went to this gorgeous wedding yesterday. And I wanted to write about that, and about some other things that occurred over the weekend. But this hit me—and did I mention I have to pack for a trip this week too?—and I just really needed to vent.

And I don't think I've ever used this blog to vent before—to describe, to relate, to express or articulate, to rant even, yes, but not to vent—and so I'm hoping you'll excuse me for doing it this one time.

And if I've done it before, now is maybe not the time to point it out to me?

Because guys, I am not my house. But this still sucks.

I am Vesuvius, and have I mentioned to you that I am best friends with the entire cast of Firefly?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weak End


We've been trying to settle into a routine here in Longmont, but fate keeps thwarting our attempts.

It's Mr. V's job now to get Ayla Bird ready for school and most days he does a really great job. Only once so far have I gone to pick her up and found her bangs hanging in her eyes. Also once she was wearing shorts size 3T but we won't mention that here.

I get two hours a day to myself now. In related news, I blow through my Starbucks allowance for two weeks in five days. The second week I have to suck it up and drink tea and iced Via at home.


I found two cans of beer and pipe tobacco in the backpack Mr. V takes to work and I asked him if he'd lost his job.

"Honey, got to go to 'work' now."

I thought that was kinda funny.

Every once in a while I think about what I dramatically refer to as 'my old life'. Last year this time I was the one getting Ayla ready for school, pushing her and Indy to Bradley Elementary, pushing the girls on the swings (because we were always early), dropping Ayla at class. Then I'd push Indy to Sunflower Market where we'd buy pumpkin bread and salt water taffy and spiced chai.

Ayla is learning to read and drawing the best pictures in her class.

Seriously, though. They were told to draw 'space' without any direction. Most kids scrawled blobs of green and gray. My kid drew freaking Jupiter. With the striated colors and everything.

Indy is learning to say the boom-chicak-rocka-chicka-rocka-chika-boom song and I don't know what else.

I forgot to tell you how when we went camping and I took her to the outhouses she plugged her nose and said "I think a stinky little person lives here. From stinky town."

I do not make this stuff up.

We are looking forward to Zach and Susie's wedding here. We get to fly to Vegas without the kids and party like Buster Bluth on too many juice boxes.

I texted Zach and told him I couldn't come to his wedding because I had to do something that day that was a little vulgar. Zach said he had to wash his brain out now and if you know Zach, you know that was a triumph.

I am hoping for a few hours of laying by the pool next to Mr. V.

I am also looking forward to: wings, football, sweater weather, autumn walks, autumn leaves, pumpkin bread, caramel macchiatos, Ayla's birthday, my dad's birthday, Halloween, Halloween candy, sausages and sauer kraut, cider, apples in season, more Hatch chilies, and all that other stuff.

Have a happy weekend.

Indy sick and not milking it at all.

The girls helping daddy carry the slain beast.

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