Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Aid at Knott's Berry Farm

Sunday was our first Knott's Berry Farm trip of 2012.  I greeted it the way I do every trip to KBF—with a mixture of panic-induced diarrhea and anticipatory nausea.  See, I don’t really dig most of the rides, and that alone makes me feel like (to quote King Julian) “a giant pansy.”  I used to looooooooooooove rides, especially roller coasters, but now…  I basically spend the entire time praying for a quick and painless death as an alternative to the grisly end that surely awaits me if I try my luck on the Silver Bullet one more time. 

(If you listen closely, you can still hear me screaming obscenities.)

Plus, the entire place is kind of sticky and loud and, well, last time I got to explain to my daughters what was meant by a young woman’s rather tight-fitting T-Shirt that said: 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tostones and Other Debacles

I learned to make tostones from a Puerto Rican abuelita who would probably shake her head in dismay if she could see the mess I just made:

But there’s something about learning how to cook “ethnic” food from people who actually are said ethnicity, and it goes like this:  They lie.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dear Beautiful Girl

Dear beautiful girl,
We were sitting in the hot tub, you, your mom, and I…You and your mom (one of my best friends) were arguing in that awful, heartbreaking, essential way unique to a woman and her adolescent daughter, or an adolescent woman and her mother.
I could see each of your points so clearly: your mother’s quite reasonable fear regarding your inexperience in handling all of the crazy slings and arrows that life--or more specifically, certain people that you hang out with--will undoubtedly throw your way.  And your completely reasonable indignation at your mother habitually, insistently, overlooking all of the good decisions you have made so far in the face of those slings and arrows.
And I wanted so badly to connect those two skew lines, to pull them into some common plane where they might intersect, that I started telling you stories.
Stories of my own life, of my own stupid mistakes, of the catastrophes I so narrowly avoided (by talent, divine intervention, or dumb luck) that looking back on them now gives me retroactive gray hair.
Because, like you, I was a good kid.  I was a “straight edge,” as you called it.  Like you, I was smart and talented and funny and kind and had already survived so much crap that—like you—I imagined I had earned a pass, or at least a shield, against the rest of it.
I was wrong.
And so I told you about the time I had unprotected sex with a virtual stranger.