Beer Clug

 

 

Last night was Beer Clug and boy are my arms tired. (I know that makes no sense, but hey, I was drinking.)

 

One of the coolest aspects of Beer Clug is never knowing what others will bring to the meeting. We get to try all kinds of beer, from all kinds of places. Case in point: Surly Beer. This one was brought by a member who’d recently been to Minneapolis. As Surly is brewed in Brooklyn Center – just outside Minneapolis – he planned ahead and brought back a few samples for his fellow Clug members. He’s a pretty swell guy, I must say.

 

Anyhoo, I was giggling at the Surly motto: Beer For a Glass, From a Can. And it was pretty danged good!

 

I love Beer Clug. For a lot of reasons. But honestly, I mostly love it for the beer. Even when it isn’t in a glass.

“Lawrence of Arabia”

 

 

This piece of art was an anniversary gift for Mister. It was a surprise gift, and working on it required a lot of sneaking around. Fortunately, when I told others it was to be a surprise, they were more than happy to help me out. In particular, the guys at the hardware store were tops. They cut the wood for me and even made helpful suggestions as to how I should brace the back of the piece. There are loads of good people in the world, y’all. They just get very little press.

 

But I digress. “Lawrence of Arabia” is Mister’s favorite film. As our fat anniversary neared, I thought of tracking down a vintage film poster as a gift. But investigations into that idea revealed just how spendy those danged posters are. So I decided to get a new poster (new equaling cheap) and make a whole to-do out of it. I wanted it to look as if it had been taken from a construction site. I aged it and added the “Post No Bills” flyers. In the end, I thought it turned out pretty good. But as it wasn’t a gift for me, my opinion didn’t really matter. The question was, would Mister like it?

 

I’m happy to report he loves it. And that is all that truly matters.

Speaking of Not Being My Fault…

 

 

I saw my therapist a few days ago (no Stevie Wonder sightings this go-round), and she pointed out some very interesting things.

 

She said I tend to manifest my feelings physically, and that I take a while to metabolize experiences. She continued by saying that I then write stories around those experiences, as a means to processing. And she was right.

 

We talked some more, and I told her I’d like to be better about how I respond to receiving in life. When those nearest and dearest offer to help me or to simply give to me, I have an extremely difficult time accepting their generosity/help/love/whatever. (I was trained to expect seemingly kind gestures as having ugly strings attached, and so I usually just decline the offer altogether.) When I asked how I could skip my usual response mechanisms and make healthier choices instead, she was really on. She said that as an adult, I’ve installed a new operating system. That operating system has been forged from positive, thoughtful living and is truly good for me. The only problem is, the old operating system – the one borne of messed-up childhood – hasn’t been ripped out and is still in there. Once in a while, the old operating system overrides the new one. Those are the times I don’ t necessarily care for myself in the best ways. She then went on to tell me I will probably always have those two operating systems installed. It’s up to me to manually override the old one to the best of my ability. Hopefully, over time, the new operating system will be the stronger of the two.

 

We talked about a lot of other issues – my “isms” as I call them – and the session was over. I came home with a little more understanding of how my wackadoo head works. I hugged Mister and, in a way, I hugged myself. I’m not a bad little tree, Charlie Brown. Maybe I just need a little love. And you know what? I’ve got it.

It’s Not My Fault

 

 

My name is Mikki and I swear.

 

This is no secret, and I’m quite open about the fact that sailors swear like me. In these missives, I do my best to keep it PG. You know, out of respect for all of you.

 

Anyhoo, I’ve recently developed a bad habit. Every time I feel the need to express myself with an expletive, I say, “Sh%&-Balls!”

 

And it’s not my fault! I got this from a particular blonde chick. (She knows who she is.) I don’t know what happened, or how this one took root, but there you go.

 

I am way too susceptible to aural influences.

A Bump In The Road

 

 

Yesterday I started my car and she just didn’t sound right. Not only that, the whole danged thang was shaking so much I could barely hear myself swear. As I had an appointment, I decided to risk it and I headed out. My fingers were crossed all the way.

 

I made it just fine, but after getting home I thought it best to cruise by my mechanic’s shop and ask his advice (as well as confirm he could take my car the next day). When I told him everything that was concerning me, he said he didn’t trust my driving it at all and offered to take my car right then and there as well as give me a ride home. He looked genuinely worried, so I left my car there.

 

I’m not gonna lie – I’m slightly freaked. I love my car. I know it’s old and that its life is finite. It can’t last forever anymore than I can. I’m just not ready to bid it farewell. If you think I’m overreacting, believe me when I say I’m not. This repair could end up costing more than the old gal is worth. That’s what we call a pickle, folks.

 

I’m trying to control my stress habit, and to just go with the auto flow. I trust my mechanic completely. He is honest and skilled. With that in mind, I suppose I should set any fretting aside and wait to hear his prognosis.

 

In the meantime, I’ll drive the rental around. The brand-new, crappy-turning-radius rental.

 

And I’ll pine for my sweet ’66 Volvo. She’s a peach.

Jumping Waves

 

 

Have you ever jumped waves? It requires an ocean (or a lake large enough to have tides). I hadn’t jumped waves for eons, so last week when Mister and I waded into Maui’s warm Pacific waters, I wasn’t sure I’d remember what to do. As it turned out, knowing how to jump waves is one of those things we just don’t forget.

 

We made our way out to a point where I could still stand. Once in a while Mister wandered out farther, as he’s taller than I. But mostly, we stayed together. When the waves were evenly spaced, we were able to predict when to jump, keeping our heads above the water. When the waves wanted to have a little fun with us, none of our predictions helped. We took buckets of water in the face, ears and nose. There was a lot of laughter, and we barely stopped smiling.

 

When jumping waves, one can either use the ocean floor to push off, or simply tread water. With strong enough legs, treading alone allows a gal to keep her head up as the waves roll by. I used both techniques to great success. Though I suppose the amount of sea water I took in my sinuses might suggest otherwise.

 

One day, a nearby snorkeler told us there was a giant sea turtle just beneath Mister’s feet (we were out a bit deeper that day). We tried and tried, but we never saw the turtle.

 

On another day, an older gentleman kept trying to coax his wife out into the waves with him. She resisted for quite a while, but finally gave in. The only sound louder than their shared laughter was our own.

 

Before this vacation (our first in years), I was so stressed out that I was starting to have physical reactions. Nervous ticks, twitches, spasms. I had been so focused on what I perceived as Mister’s need of a break and a chance to relax that I failed to notice my own desperate state. When I finally realized how frenzied I was, I stressed myself out further by fretting over how (or even if) I’d be able to let go and have fun. How was I going to relax? How was I going to trust that everything was okay?

 

On that very first morning of vacation, during our very first wave-jumping session, Mister reached out and pulled me close. I lifted my feet from the sandy ocean floor, and allowed him to support me and keep me afloat. As a giant wave rolled in our direction, he said, “It’s okay. I’ve got you.” Then he jumped and lifted me above the passing wave. I wasn’t alone and didn’t have to fear the world as it tumbled toward me. I was in Mister’s arms. As I looked at the shoreline, I could hear another approaching wave. I felt Mister pull me closer and I knew he’d time his jump perfectly. He had me. He really and truly did.

Maui Wowie!

 

 

Mister and I spent our big anniversary on the Hawaiian island of Maui. To say it was grand would be the biggest understatement to pass my lips in adulthood. Let me just qualify it this way: it was greater than I had dreamed.

 

 

Hawaii can be predictable, with its luaus and rituals. But you know what? When you’re there, you don’t care! You’re happy to participate in any and every little thing that makes the place so, well, Hawaiian. For the record, Mister and I did not attend a luau, as we’ve done that before. But we hadn’t had tropical drinks in hollowed-out pineapples, so we jumped right on that one…

 

 

For the most part, we did a bunch of nothing. We did drive up Haleakala one day, where we were above the clouds. But we were too danged lazy to get up for sunrise, so that will have to wait for another time.

 

We almost managed to not get sunburned. But we went for what was supposed to be a short oceanfront stroll, and somehow managed to get lost. (I kid you not.) Cut to 3 miles later, and yes, we had gotten too much sun.

 

 

We ate magnificent food and we drank magnificent elixirs. People were friendly and the weather was beautiful. It would be easy to say Maui delivered everything we expected. But that wouldn’t be accurate. For we received so much more than expected, and we were all smiley and hand-holdy before we knew it.

 

There are about a jillion and one places I’ve never been and would love to visit. But I’ll tell you this: if I could go back to Maui next week, I would. And the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that…

 

A Vacation From My Vacation

 

 

You know, sometimes a gal has to recover from so much relaxing. Throw together some beer and the Emmys and dang! If that doesn’t equal mindless lay-about time, I don’ t know what does.

 

I’ll do my best to get back in the groove tomorrow.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

 

 

Today is the first day of Autumn, and I for one am grateful to give it a big hello! Change is good for us, you know.

 

But changing to Autumn means saying goodbye to Summer. And Summer’s been awesome. Okay, it’s been challenging, too, but as part of my longing for joy, I’m choosing to focus on the positive. That means counting my blessings. With that in mind, here are 10 of my favorite things about this past summer (in no particular order)…

 

  1. John Oliver subbing on “The Daily Show.” Good Golly, Miss Molly. I loves me some John Oliver. (I love Jon Stewart, too, y’all, but the man has a life and needs to get away from that desk once in a while.) When John Oliver did his little dance move each time he spoke about “Carlos Danger,” I about rolled up in a little ball on the floor, overcome with the laugh-ies. I swear, that move killed. And just thinking about it makes me smile.
  2. News of Adidas’ plans to re-release the Stan Smith sneaker (come January 2014). This probably means nothing to most of you, but the Stan Smith sneaker stands out as my very favorite kick from childhood. For serious – I’ve got this marked on my calendar and will be looking for my own pair in January!
  3. Rock Camp! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ll volunteer with this group for as long as they’ll have me. Because I’ve seen the positive effects of this non-profit, it is definitely one of my very favorite charities.
  4. Jumping waves with Mister in Hawaii. I cannot tell you how amazing those few precious days were, or how much it meant to me to share that time with the love of my life. Or maybe I can tell you. And maybe I will – soon.
  5. “The Way Way Back” – I loved this movie so very much and it made me feel all the wonderful things that summer can provide. Okay, it also made me feel many of the painful things summer often presents. But ain’t that just life. I will always love this movie.
  6. Going to “Butterfly Wonderland” in Scottsdale, Arizona. I wrote about this one, and I’m still in awe. What an amazing experience! I’m so grateful I got to go there!
  7. Completing P90-X! Those 91 days just about kilt me, y’all. But they didn’t! And I came out of it stronger and dare I say, braver.
  8. “Camp” on summer television. This sweet, little show became something Mister and I looked forward to each week. It was fairly innocent (by today’s standards), and it was also fairly simple. But I was okay with that, and I loved the idea of all those families going to summer camp together. Each episode’s music was great, too, by the way.
  9. Summer Food! Each season brings its own array of edibles and this summer was no exception. Tomatoes, fruit, fish – wow! Here in SoCal, we’ll be blessed with summer’s bounty for a while longer and hallelujah to that. Y’all do know I likes to eat, don’t you?
  10. The auto show and auction I attended a while back! That was one of the best days ever and I loved it so much, y’all. Just being around all those old cars was a blast, and watching the auction blew my mind. I have no desire to own an auto of such esteemed provenance (good thing, too, as I can’t seem to find my spare half a mill just lying around), but I sure do appreciate the danged thangs. Beautiful!

 

I’m limiting this post to 10 items, but if I’m honest, the summer – with its challenges and hurdles – held far more gifts. I sincerely hope yours did, too.

 

And now, let the games begin! Time to tally up an entirely new list of fabulous fall moments. It’s gonna be awesome! For reals…

Stevie

 

 

Last week, as I was walking out of therapy…

 

Lord! Do I need therapy. I do have friends, y’all. But I try not to overwhelm them with my crazies. My paid therapist not only saves my confused ass, she also saves my friends from having to save my confused ass. But I digress.

 

So I was walking out of my therapist’s office and I nearly knocked down – for reals – Mr. Stevie Wonder. I didn’t knock him down though, and in fact, I didn’t come into contact with him at all. I just gave him his space and allowed his escort to lead him down the hall. I didn’t say anything, either.

 

And that, friends, was the week’s brush with greatness. Pretty good one, I’d have to say.