Oh I’ll wear the braid. Just Sayin’.

We head out the door this morning and I get this:
Jr: “Mommy,  you have the Elsa braid again. You can’t wear the Elsa braid.
Elsa is a queen. You are just a mommy.”

Hold. Up. Son.

JUST a Mommy?
As far as you are concerned I am the Mack Daddy m.f.ing center of the GD universe. I am the alpha and omega, the sun rise and sun set.
Because I am, you are.

Elsa should call it the Keri Braid as far as you are concerned.
Not “Just a mommy.”
THE Mommy.

It’s fine though, kiddo. .. keep it up with the ‘tude.
:::tossing Elsa braid:::
The cold never bothered me anyway.

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Thank you, drive through.

This morning I got trapped in a gas station car wash.

Yep.

I have been ACHING to wash the crusty layer of dirt and ice slicer and other assorted winter crud off of the MUV of late, but there is no point if another round of snow is coming later that day to re-crustify it all anyway.

So today after I dropped Jr off at pre-school, I saw a gas station with no line at the car wash, (miracle I thought… perhaps it was really an ominous sign,) and pulled in to get ‘er done.

All was well, the wash’s arm started its second soapy pass around the Keri-mobile, and I settled in to read some email. (Did I mention I HATE car washes? They freak me the hell out. But so does the idea of leaning my favorite coat up against my dirty-ass car, so I distract myself while inside the necessary evil.)

Then I noticed how quiet things had become. I gave the wipers a swish to get a better view of what was happening, and it started to sink in.

The lights were all out.   The mechanical arm was stopped right at my front bumper. Soap and water dripped from the ceiling into the puddles on the floor, making plopping noises in the creepy quiet

I *may* have yelled out “HELLO!! I AM TRAPPED IN YOUR JANKY FU*KING CARWASH, ASSES!!!”

Panic set in – the doors weren’t moving… It was all steamy and soapy smelling and dark.

HEE HEE HOOOOOO. HEE HEE HOOOOO. (At least that express childbirth class was good for something. Random panic breathing.)

I frantically googled the phone number for the gas station (what did we do before google, for serious people?)

No one answered the phone (stupid worthless google.)

I took a deep breath, opened the car door, and stepped out onto the floor of the car wash. I half-expected some sort of alarm to go off or something – you aren’t supposed to get OUT of your car in the car wash!!

Nope.

Instead all I got was a big steady trickle of soap down the front of my face and coat.

I followed the signage to the manual switch handle for the garage door in front of me, heaved open the door enough to get out, and walked to the front of the gas station.

The dude in line for the wash behind the closed back garage door honked. (I mean seriously. Ass.)

Mr Gas Station Man seemed not-at-all surprised to see my drowned-rat looking self coming toward the counter.

“The car wash just quit mid-cycle, and I was kinda trapped in there, and the arm is stuck in front of my jeep, and it’s all soapy, and I kinda so am I and….” (I was still panicked from my clearly harrowing experience in the tomb.)

“Oh yeah – I will give you a new code… I’ll reset it.’

WTF dude? I am TRAMATIZED here. Your carwash tried to eat me alive.

HELLO.

It took some convincing to get the guy in the front of the line (honker/ass) to let me punch in my new code so I could retrieve my car from inside the wash – and I admit I did NOT like it one bit when the doors both closed around me again.

Suddenly letting The Mr wash my car doesn’t seem so bad.

Does this shit actually happen to other people?

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Don’t read my blog…

No Really.

Don’t read my blog.  Read my amazing friend (and fellow dweller of the same suburb) Shannon’s blog.

She is a writer of truly clear and gifted voice, and we are all so grateful and honored to have her here continuing her battle right now.

http://www.sunshine-and-shadows.com/

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How’d. That. Happen. (Really.)

“You’re sick!?”  Asks The Mr, recoiling in horror as I vampire cough (Google it,) and groan while picking up Jr’s legos. “How’d that happen?”

Wierd. I had been thinking how freaking over-the-top ahhh-may-zing it was that my obsessive system of veggie intake, zinc supplement consumption, constant hand-washing, and inappropriate bargaining prayers had kept anything from truly taking hold in me WAY earlier in the season than this.
“How did this happen?’ you ask, my darling husband?
It’s not like I’ve been licking door knobs at the doctor’s office or something, but it’s a jungle out there, yo.

How could this NOT happen!? That is the correct question, dude.

Let’s see….

Perhaps it was the adorable little one-ish year old girl in her smushy little shopping cart seat cover who smiled at me over the bananas at the grocery last week.  And then sneezed thisdamnclose to my face as I reached for some.  Not sure that the Chiquita lady meant for THAT to come with a bunch.

It could’ve been the Girl Scout who wiped her nose on her hand and then handed me my Samoas at the door a few days ago.  (No wait, let’s take her out of it – The Mr hates Samoas and would love to find a way to tie them to my current plague.)

OR MAYBE…

The dad of another kiddo in Jr’s swimming class who wiped his kid’s nose with his bare hand and then kinda wiped it ON THE EDGE OF THE POOL before touching what seemed like EVERY DAMN SURFACE in the area during lessons last week.

Or the grody coworker who coughs into his hand and pushes the elevator button, or the mail lady who sort-of-kind-of turned her head before sneezing as she held our mail up in her hand last week…

Or maybe it is the walking, talking, smiling, adorable little petri dish of a 3-year-old who climbs me like a cat on one of those kitty condo thingys pretty much every second of every day that he can manage to do so.

Seriously….  “how did that happen.”

Ask me stupid questions later. Mama needs a Cherry 7-up.

 

 

 

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Au revoir, Paris.

I was scrolling through my FB feed last Friday while waiting for Jr to drift off to sleep on the baby monitor –  and suddenly there it was – a short simple statement that stopped me dead in my finger-flipping tracks:

My coffee house was closing.

Except it isn’t really MY coffee house – I haven’t gone there with any regularity in almost 10 years.

Andplusalso – it isn’t really my coffee house, because it has been pretty much EVERYBODY’S coffee house in the city and surrounding suburbs, at one point or another, in its 28 years in existence.  It isn’t MY coffee house – it is THE coffee house.

Mine is just one more love story to tell in a mountain of homage to a place that was equal parts rebellion, magic, familiarity, and genuine hard-earned character.

I was 15 the first time I went to Paris on the Platte.  I wasn’t QUITE supposed to be dating yet, but I was, a boy 7 years older than me at a time when that was a lifetime of difference (and when the last thing a girl wants to admit is that there is any difference at all.)  I would wager a guess that me and Older-boy had my male BFF in tow – so “it wasn’t a date”- the first time I saw Paris in all its smoky, jam-packed, weekend glory.  It was heaven. Older-boy broke my heart down the road a year or so, but he gave me Paris, and Paris never did.

At least one night a weekend was spent there for the majority of my high school existence – countless teenaged dramas unfolded there over Crowbars and Davidoff oval-shaped cigarettes…. break-ups, make-ups – marathon study sessions… marathon anything BUT study sessions.   A steady stream of dates ushered in and out by BFF, myself, and our tight-knit little group, all of whom  had not a chance of surviving the grilling the others would put them through over a few pots of java.  (Hell, we even judged you by what you did or didn’t put in your coffee.  Teenagers are tough critics.)

Senior year it was there we went the night before graduation – where else but the place we first found our wings would we all go the night before we were given permission to truly stretch them and try to fly?

Off everyone else went to college, but I felt drawn instead to the city, choosing to go to school downtown on a (way back then) commuter campus.  The night before I moved to my freshman apartment , I met up with a friend at Paris and came out to find the window of my Jeep had been smashed in (using a piece of the old 15th street viaduct they had torn down from above the dirt area where we used to park – I still have it to this day,) and my backpack stolen.  When the police officer asked for my address, I gave my parents’ and said “but I am moving down here tomorrow” and provided that address as well.  The officer smirked and said “heh heh, Welcome to the city.”

That’s the thing.

Paris was the first thing I loved about a city I would come to love more than that naïve, excited kid I was could ever know.

The first  year I was in the city was lonely – I went from weekend visitor to full-on every-night regular at the bar behind the counter.  It  was my social center.  There were friends made, boys met, life lived… time passed, things changed.  Paris didn’t.

in the summers Sissy (not yet Dr. then, just Sissy,) would step in as an extra barista to help with the high volume summer vacation time period there.  Life revolved around Paris.

I left college for culinary school.  I left culinary school for life.  “Life” turned out to be a job opening Paris on week-days, coming in at 4:30 a.m. to bake and get everything going for the day.  Watching the sun rise over the city and break on to the railroad tracks across the way.  Then eventually watching the apartments across the street being built.

I was working at Paris when all my weird symptoms turned into a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.  It was my roommate, a fellow Paris on the Platte employee, who saw me through my first, horribly long and side-effect-laden nights when I started the injections that seemed IMPOSSIBLE to keep inflicting on myself.

When the doctors told me that the heat of a commercial kitchen would never be a responsible work environment for a person with a heat sensitive nerve-damaging disease, it was the little kitchen in the back of Paris on the Platte where I worked my last day in the culinary industry. It was Paris where I walked out the back door in tears, not knowing what would be next.

Later I brought my designs to leave on the counter by the cash register when I was in floral design school….  and I studied for finals spread out in the sunny tables tucked in the front windows as an even MORE non-traditional student when I emerged from my post diagnosis fog and returned to finish my undergrad degree.

After graduation, as a new bride starting both a marriage and (ANOTHER) brand new career, my visits became less frequent.  I would drop by for a to-go coffee on my way to or from REI, or brunch across the highway with girlfriends.  Life got busy and time passed. I left my city. A blink, a breath, and the news that this weekend would be THE LAST weekend for Paris on the Platte.  Like many I made it a point to go, to linger a bit, chat with the owner, and use it as an excuse to let Jr have chocolate cake for breakfast:
image

There can be no love story of Keri and her city without countless mentions of that eclectic, evolving, perfect little piece of Denver –  my understanding of the city and all I love about it began there –  and I know I am one of so very many who found within those walls a touchstone for their own lives.

Au revoir, Paris.

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