My dad’s birthday is near Thanskgiving each year. So, knowing I’d see him and knowing how impossible it is to shop for the man, I called him to wish him birthday cheer and ask him what he wanted. Just a kiss, he said, when he saw me on Thanksgiving. I told him it didn’t sound like a very useful gift. He assured me it was all he wanted. Fast forward to Thanksgiving morning when the very handsome boyfriend and I are preparing to drive to my sister’s house.
Me: I feel bad because I’m bringing my mom a birthday present but not my dad.
VHB: Why didn’t you get your dad something?
Me: Because when I called and asked what he wanted he said ‘just a kiss.”
VHB: It better be a good kiss.
Awkward silence. Staring.
VHB: I’m bleeding! (He had shaved, approximately five minutes ago. So yes, he was bleeding, but I think he was just looking for an excuse to escape.)
Ah, but there is no escaping the Internets. So consider this your belated T-day gift. A story of birthday gift recommendations gone terribly wrong. Next year, Dad, ask for socks or a sweater. Spare VHB the grief, okay?
I came across this gallery of Moby Dick covers. I really dig the first one. It’s so classic. But then as I was scrolling through I came across one that made my jaw unhinge. Really, it’s worth it. Just scroll through. There are only nine covers and you will know when you’ve found the one I’m talking about. It’s very much ‘one of these things is not like the other.’ I mean, did the illustrator have any idea what the novel was about? I’m guessing no.
Please don’t panic. I know, the blog looks totally different. The background isn’t red, there are lines on the ‘paper’ and there is no photo of me prominently displayed on the page (I think we can agree that’s for the best, no?) I am sure that in time you will grow acclimated to this abrupt alteration of all that you once knew and loved. Just think of it like one of those actor swaps they used to do on soap operas (remember soap operas?) where a strange man would walk on set and everyone would say, “Victor!” and you’d think “That’s not Victor. Victor had hair. Are these people stupid or on drugs?” and it turned out they were neither. They were just consummate professionals trained to pretend as if switching actors mid-season was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Which it was for them, being paid actors and all. So put your best drama mask on and pretend like this is all natural and to the good.
Those of you who do the best ‘acting’ will be considered for roles in my new musical production of “Oliver, the Zombie.” The tag lines is: “Consider Yourself our Mate (and a Meal!)”
On the highway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs is a stretch filled with windmills. This wind farm contains more than 4000 separate windmills and provides enough electricity to power Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. Awesome.
At the top of Joshua Tree park. We’re holding onto each other because it was windy as all get out. Also, about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I hurt just looking at this picture.
A palm tree oasis in Indian Canyon. To all the locals who recommended we hike here we say, “Thanks! It was lovely.”
The waterfall at Tahquitz Canyon. We hiked it before we had to get on the plane. Good thing we stretched our legs. Our plane journey back got extended by several hours due to not one but two planes having mechanical difficulties.
It’s done! Done. Done, done, done.
The manuscript is edited, printed and on its way to my agent.
It’s Tuesday, right? My sense of time is a little off. Not being at day job does that to me as does having lived in 1978 for the past week (mentally–no, I haven’t invented a time machine. Yet.)
How am I celebrating you ask?
I bought a bunch of books, including A Wrinkle in Time, as I don’t know where my childhood copy is at. I am bummed that the cover is totally different and not as good.
I ate a delicious sandwich from Cardullo’s in Harvard Square. I ate a yummy (and expensive) chocolate bar from the same place.
I took a nap.
I’m listening to Pavarotti sing. Man has pipes! He’s good for occasions. Plus I realized opera is anathema to teenage boys, so it’s also payback to the teenager downstairs who’s woken me early every day for the past week. Take that, kid! A little “Nessun Dorma” just for you.
And later I plan to watch an MST3K video.
Wild and crazy, that’s how I roll.