Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Must Confess, I Still Believe

Here is a dark photo of the birthday girl and her husband through the smoke of the book burning.

Today was a million times better than yesterday. I had the worst migraine I've ever had on Monday. Today though? Today was migraine free, plus the weather was amazing, plus I got to run my six mile route, plus it was my friend I.M.'s birthday and fun cookout - which equals awesomeness all day long.

My girls had their own stuff going on. Coadster studied and went to The Airliner for cheap pizza night with some friends. Stinky had a meeting with her dad for religious education classes. She wasn't super happy about it, but it's important to her dad, and a little organized religion never hurt anyone...Except for the crusades and the Spanish Inquisition and centuries of religious oppression. Okay, but you know what I mean.

So, yeah. The birthday party was great. When I first got there, one of I.M's guests was inviting her neighbor, who just happens to be a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, to the party. The author said that it was his birthday too that day, but didn't come over. Which is too bad, because I think it would be fun to help a Pulitzer Prize winner celebrate his birthday. Don't you?

My beautiful friend S. was there with her two boys and K. and my friend, Wendy showed up with the best sangria I've ever had in my life. It was made with raspberry wine and ginger ale and some kind of lemonade vodka and tons of fresh fruit. I only had one glass, though, because I had to drive.

Earlier, there were about a hundred million kids running around like banshees, but they all went home after it got dark and I.M. started a fire in the backyard with a bunch of her kids' artwork that she couldn't keep anymore. We talked about just how many trees had to die so our kids could give us 54,782 adorable pictures of trees and flowers and dinosaurs. There's only so many of them you can keep without renting another place just to house them all, you know?

As we were sitting around the fire, the guy pictured above came and sat down with us. "I.M. said you guys were friendly, so I hope you don't mind if I join you," he said. Since there were about seven women and our friend Matt H. sitting around, no, we didn't mind one bit if a cute, fun, young, guy came and sat down with us. He was great. A couple of other, younger hipster type guys followed and we all commenced to talking shit.

I.M. put an old encyclopedia on the fire and when a few eyebrows were raised about the book burning, I.M. said, "Shut-up. It's an obsolete encyclopedia that's been sitting outside for a few weeks and it's a little damaged anyway."

"Kind of like me?" I asked.

"Maybe. You've been left outside and you're a little damaged?" the first hipster boy asked.

"Yeah. I guess that doesn't sound so hot, huh - to describe myself as damaged."

"Well, you're only a little damaged. Everything sounds so much better if you say 'it's a little' whatever it is," The first hipster boy said.

"So, if I also described myself as a little heinous, that doesn't sound that bad either, right?"

"Right," he assured me.

"K. remember what I told you the kids in high school called me?" I asked.

"Churlita Tiny Tits?" K. guessed. (My real first name starts with a T. , so the real life nickname actually did flow better together)

"No. That's what they called me in junior high. In high school, we moved to Ottumwa and some of the kids would describe me as being nice, but just a little bit diff'ernt. But they put 'a little' in front of it, so now I'm thinking it must not have been all that bad."

A little later, my friend Matt H., who has this weird fascination, or maybe, obsession with Britney Spears, had K. call him, so we could hear his Britney Spears ringtone. After a good (or bad) listen, one of the hipster boys said, "So, this is what I imagine hell to be like - sitting around a fire, burning books and listening to Brittney Spears."

Since the book was unreadable so I didn't have to feel guilty, and the company was great, and the Britney Spears was funny and didn't last very long, I thought it was closer to heaven.


Remiman said...

It takes a little bit of this
Hoah with a little bit of that
A little bit of good
Yeah with a little bit of bad
You know that life's a contradiction
And you can't escape the fact
You gotta take a little bit of this
With a little bit of that
Carolyn Dawn Johnson


evilesb138 said...

small is good in regards to the letter "T"....

So you attended a reenactment of Fahrenheit 451 in someone's backyard and the soundtrack was provided by a cell phone playing Britney ring tones....interesting evening indeed...I think I would vote for somewhere closer to hell on that one.

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

Inspite britney spears ringtone.. it must have a lot of fun.. why anyone would want to have that as a ringtone? Oh that's right.. you said he had an obsession..

Minyo said...

Other than the Britney Spears thing, your evening sounds absolutely perfect.

I'll have to remember that children's artwork is good fire starting material. We were getting low on the little pieces we use to start fires in our fire pit, then a friend brought some scraps from a woodworker. Next time, I'll convince Big Sis to let me burn a rainbow picture :)

Tara said...

The photo of that guy with the hat makes him look "a little" psychotic. But only a little.

I love sitting around a fire. Must've smelled nice too. They have incinerators on at night around here and I can smell leaves burning.

DJSassafrass said...

I was wondering when Britney was going to enter the picture, because I couldn't imagine her earning title spot on your without some sort of connection.

Susan said...

I've never really been a nickname having kind of girl. Darn my mid-sized boobs.

laura b. said...

Those hipsters sound quite clever...I like that in a boy. What is good about any dorky ringtone is that you can always claim that you chose it 'ironically'!

Rachel said...

I swear I saw Jesus in the 2nd to last photo.

Anonymous said...

I like sitting around a fire on a nice, cool night. Excluding the Britney Spears, it sounds like it was a good time.

booda baby said...

Couldn't be more grateful that the migraine dissolved so you could write this super duper DUPER fantastic piece!!!

I hated the Airliner.

I think it'd be fun to help a plain old Pulitzer nominee celebrate.

The 'a little' observation made me love Iowa boys all over again. I've always been a sucker.

And on and on and on. Can you please flag this one for when you put your book of essays together?

Churlita said...


That's perfect. Thanks.


Yeah. It probably wouldn't have been your scene. But the people were awesome and funny.


Yeah. He's definitely an interesting guy.


You can't let them see you do it. My daughter saw me throwing some of her work away when she was younger and she was really hurt. I tried to explain that kept the best stuff, but I just didn't have room for all of it.


He made that face on purpose. He called it his "digital camera" face and he makes whenever anyone asks to take his picture.


I don't always use songs I like as titles. Usually, they're just songs that fit what my post is about.


I got way bigger boobs in high school that nickname became obsolete pretty fast. But I've always had nicknames. They called me flea because of my crazy hair and rat, because my name spelled backwards is a rat.


That's also the nice thing about getting older. I can hang out with younger guys, and it's totally safe on both our parts.


Cool. The last photo is of the guy who called his experience hell.


Me too. I'm such a fire zombie that I'll mess around making sure the fire is going and adding to it forever.

Booda Baby,

Iowa boys are the best, aren't they? Most of them don't even care what dorks they are.

Tera said...

That guy's eyes make me feel afeared!

How cozy to be chillin' in front of the fire...wait, is that an oxymoron? Uhh...but anyways, you get my point.

I also totally love your calculation in the beginning...I need a little of that awesomeness in my life...and soon.

Rachel said...

i wish i could have been there with you all and the cute hipster boys. i. should start collecting them like pez dispensers.