Saturday, June 25, 2005

Be Careful...You might lose a lip.

It is a Friday night at 9PM. Chris is working until 11 tonight. Jack is finally asleep and I am eating a late dinner and having a not needed glass of wine while I write. It has been a full day and, after I got a decision made I have been going back and forth on for some time, a good day. More on that later in a later blog.

I accidentally posted a title without a blog recently. The title, May I bring you a Pashmina?, was from our weekend in St. Louis. Last weekend, Jack, Chris and I drove to St. Louis. Kate goes to school there and has an apartment off-campus. Jack slept at Kate's, where they had a great time together. Chris and I slept at the Sheraton and had a nice break. We went to the St. Louis Zoo. I am not big on zoos, but this one is really wonderful. And, it is free, to boot. Jack LOVED it. Chris and I went to Tony's St. Louis, a 4-star place on Saturday night. We were not all that keen to go, but since Kate had gone to some trouble making a reservation, we thought we should. We expected a stuffy, self-impressed restaurant but were pleasantly surprised with fab food and attentive service. The topper for me was when I was chilly, the waiter graciously asked, "May I bring you a Pashmina?" I asked back, "May I keep it if you do?" Sadly, and expectedly, the answer was no. In any event, I loved it.

In other news, I am back to waxing. For those of you who remember my early blogs, you may remember my waxing fiascos....wax everywhere, unable to remove it from the rug on the floor and the rug elsewhere, velcro vulva...etc. Well, one would think that I would finally say uncle and spend the forty bucks to have someone else remove the excess hair on the old scooter for bathing suit season. But, no! I am still in a cheap do-it-myself mood and decided the other night that the time had come to clean up the old bush. Well, it was ill-advised, let-me-tell-you. First of all, I was sort of in a hurry, since I was getting started late in the evening. I put the wax melter-thingy on the high-heat setting to speed the melting of the stuff. In my haste, I slapped it on and, well, disaster! on the right leg. I applied hastily and removed roughly and the result is that I have bruises that look like hickies in some untoward areas (at my age!) and to boot, I am peeling where the too-hot wax burned my skin. You will be relieved to know that I got the hang of it by the time I did the left side, so all was smooth sailing there. But the right side? OY! Chris looked at it and said, "Honey, either you improve your waxing skill or break down and pay someone to do this." I was telling a friend of mine about my pubic mishap and she advised me to "be careful next time or you might lose a lip." Wise advice.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Herkimer


atthemines
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
One of the things that excited Jack most about going to Herkimer was going to the Herkimer Diamond Mines to dig for diamonds. For those of you not from the area, Herkimer Diamonds are a certain kind of quartz that occur only in the Herkimer Diamond Mines. I believe that technically the mines are in Middleville, but what difference does it make, right? Herkimer Diamonds are actually world famous for those in the know. I have seen them in places as far flung the Smithsonian Museum in DC and in a jeweler's window in Bellagio, Italy. Betcha didn't know that Herkimer had this claim to fame, huh?

Anyway, we made the mistake of taking Jack to the mines last summer to "dig diamonds" and now he is hooked. He "found" a few diamonds there last year and took them to show and tell about every week during the school year. He is crazy about them.

Local schools often go on field trips to the mines, but, miraculously, I had never been. I imagined that digging for diamonds would be just that...DIGGING. I thought they would give you a little shovel and you would go in to some kind of cave and dig into gently yielding dirt chock full of shiny gems. Hah! As you can see from the photo, the experience is more like being on a chain-gang. You literally smash rocks with a hammer, hoping against all hope that you find a diamond lurking inside. It is dusty and hot and a rip-off. You have to wear goggles (not included in the admission price, by the way) because shards of rocks fly everywhere when you are digging. When I die and go to hell, I might have to "dig" for diamonds for most of eternity. The other segment of eternity will be watching the cheesy video that is for first time diggers mandatory viewing on the second floor of the musty smelling gift shop run by the tacky mean lady.

The only reason Jack likes to "dig" diamonds is because we plant diamonds in the dirt while he isn't looking and he "finds" them. And where do we get the diamonds? The gift shop of course. And, not for free if you don't mind me mentioning it. This time Jack found five small diamonds and one medium. Lucky guy that he is. I found one in the parking lot, buried in the dirt. It was the largest diamond that we "found". Next time I might skip the eight-buck admission and nose around in the parking lot. Better yet, next time I will tell Jack that the mines are closed.

Jack had a great time for about twenty minutes and then got totally overheated. No breeze in the mines. At least the torture was short lived for me.

When I was a little kid in Herkimer, my friends and I used to hunt for Herkimer Diamonds in newly dumped gravel driveways. We always found lovely ones. Way better than paying for the chain-gang experience. Now I know why my parents never took me to the mines.

Herkimer. Ah. A wonderful place to have grown up and a terrible place to live now. I am sad to say that not one iota of any economic recovery touched the place in the last twenty years. Industry has moved out or declined leaving a void for WalMart and fast-food restaurants to fill.

Well, I must away, gentle readers. Chris has put Jack to bed and Indian take-out is beckoning.

More later, of course.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Invited into the Cockpit!


jackpilot
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I am too tired tonight to provide a full report from our roadtrip. I couldn't resist posting this photo, however. I was shocked that the pilots invited Jack into the cockpit when we boarded the plane. I guess the blond hair and blue eyes tipped them off that his name wasn't Ahmed.

Jack was, for the most part, a great traveller. I was not so bad myself either. There were a few mishaps, but nothing serious and nobody called child protective services on me. More on that later...hehee.

On this trip I saw my oldest and dearest friends - all from my childhood We reconnected like no time had passed. Rich in the truest sense of the word. I am so lucky to still be close to people I have known even as long as elementary school. Herkimer, while completely decayed now, was an idyllic place to grow up. Maybe it was the time. Who knows. Jack probably won't have the same rich experience.

Well, off to bed. I am beat. Will write a full report tomorrow. I know you can't wait.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Just a Quick Note from the Road

I left Wednesday for a road trip with Jack. First we went to Maine to visit my friends Barbara & Steven and then we came to upstate NY to see my folks and my best friend Cindy and her husband David.

More later but, sufice it to say that the town where I grew up is now a study in why the county is going to hell in a handbasket. OY! I will flesh this out when it isn't so late at night. We just finished a bonfire under the stars complete with wine and smores. What could be better?