Last week I didn't write much of anything because I only had complaints to fill all of the space. This week I haven't written anything because I've been so happily, distractedly busy that there just hasn't been any time at all. Which is good, because I expected the opposite of this. In honor of the deliciousness of this week I'm going to get while the getting's good and double up on the gratitude and make a list of six things that I loved. Hopefully there will be tons of pictures. I didn't take a lot of pictures but everyone else did. I'll find them. I'll find them.
1. The time that Kiki ran away but then returned after the weekend was over.
She was gone for a weekend and then she came back. It's like she went to go visit a friend and forgot to tell me. Or something. What a teenager. The internet said that she'd be scared to come out in the day time so after the night time happened, I put a little bowl of food by the door. Before I went to bed, I went out to check and see if I could call her in but there she was just sitting in front of the door. Like we do this all the time. Like she's ever been on that side of the door. She has not. She's been inside for five years. She seems like such a natural at navigating the wilderness, though, that I wonder how often she sneaks out at night. Teenage rebellion, I tell ya.
2. The time I didn't know we were celebrating Justin's birthday. Justin was all, "come over to my house and play games!" And Katie and I were all, "Um... alright." And we get there and there's guacamole--so you know something's up. There are various guests. I made some new friends. I made a just wonderful first impression, more or less, by making an insensitive joke about priests and children... it was a risky move. I'm still not sure how it went over. Not one I'd like to try again. But the best part was the dinosaur cake complete with Stegosaurus and a fully functional volcano. "Fully functional" is a relative term and what I mean by that is that if Justin would have eaten the entire piece that had the volcano on it, he would have thrown up. Justin's birthday is later this month but he had everyone that he wanted to hang out with available to him now. So he threw a tiny birthday party for himself, I guess. It was cute.
3. The time that I wore bright red lipstick all day.
It was a best day ever, to be sure. The lipstick had nothing to do with it but the fact that I was comfortable wearing it out into the public--in the day time--it says a lot about the attitude with which I went strutting about towns. It was Arryn's 2nd Annual 29th Birthday so she and Tish and I spent a supremely schedule-free day together. The only things on the agenda were to eat, at least once, get her a tattoo, watch a movie. We did all of those things in no particular order.
We went to Wichita and wandered around Old Town until we found a place that looked like they wanted us to eat their lunch. We stopped at Cafe Moderne because their gelato refrigerator (like it's not cool enough that a refrigerator dedicated strictly to gelato in the first place exists) looked like a UFO. So, naturally, we wanted a taste of whatever was in that spinning disc. We ate the gelato. We found some coffee. We got tattoo'd. Well, Arryn did but it made me really excited about wanting a new one. I ran my tattoo idea past what's-his-name and he loved it. I love it. I love it so much I'm keeping it a secret.
4. The time I learned a little bit about not being so presumptuous. You know, there are a lot of bits about me that are different than what, I assume, a lot of people would expect from me. And a lot of times I tend to kind of shirk back and not reveal that much of myself to certain people because I just don't want to deal with someone else's reactions to my disappointment of their false expectations. I wouldn't say that I act fake or put-on, or anything. I just tend to keep quieter about a few different aspects of things. Religion, politics, sex, feelings etc.--they're topics that you just learn to avoid in order to keep conversation easy. This week, though, I kind of just took a "fuck it" approach and I was pleasantly surprised by the complete non-reaction that I received. Not only that but I realized that by reigning in these parts of myself to avoid judgement--I have, really, only been passing judgement onto others and making myself believe that I'm cooler than I really am. Hypocrites: they are everywhere. They are me. Peoples is peoples.
5. The time that Arryn's birthday party got tornado'd out. Friday night we had a party in the park and pretty much invited the whole world. Only about 1/3 of the whole world showed up but we had enough food, even if we didn't have a lot of variety. We had cake and that's the important part when it comes to celebrating birthdays. With so many birthdays this week--so much cake happened to me.
Tish made this cake from scratch, though, which is something that I have never, ever attempted. I mean, you watch this girl melt chocolate down and incorporate it into the batter and temper eggs and all sorts of other fancy things that I'm always too chicken to try. Who's birthday is next? Can I make you a from-scratch birthday cake? I want to try. I've always been too chicken but now it's time to face our fears and experiment on someone else's birthday.
Oh, but anyway, we're all having a great time birthdaying. I remember noting the change in weather and saying to a man that I had just met for the first time, "is it going to rain?" He said, "absolutely not." Sidenote: Sometimes in life, people are very certain of things about which they have no idea. Those people are usually at least a little bit wrong. This gentleman, however, was a whole lotta wrong. Like--the most opposite of right that one could possibly ever be in one's life. He's never been and will never be more incorrect about anything ever. So, there's the upside, Guy. He was nice, though. He brought a watermelon.
Everything was getting cleaned up and put away, everyone was just kind of milling around trying to decide if they really wanted to leave or not when a guest drove by and yelled, "You guys! We're in a tornado warning!" I'm not certain that I've ever seen a group of people dissipate faster. Most people were from in-town and ran to their own homes but my friend, Ellie, and her family came home with us and we all squished down into the little bitty basement. The little bitty basement is home to Ryan the Delightful but he is off on holiday and so mostly we just hung out in his house where he was not. It was sorta weird, but you just accept that this is what's happening and hope that you don't get smushed by a tornado. There were five little kids and they all wrestled and made friends with one another on the carpet (they did not break or really even touch anything). Penelope traveled from one edge of the carpet to the other and back. She doesn't crawl, she scoots as though one of her legs is totally lame. One friend is quoted as saying, "she reminds me of Lieutenant Dan". I don't know if that helps with your visual or not but it is incredible to see. I liked that there were so many people all in one place just hanging out, waiting for the storm to pass. This was the first time that I remember ever actually hearing a tornado siren. Don't worry, there was no serious trouble. Just a "rotating wall cloud" which sounds like a big deal to me, but then again I'm not a meteorologist or the type of person who knows what's up with the weather when I actually have no effin clue.
After the warning was over, we went to more spacious quarters. Then my sister called, which leads to favorite thing #6.
6. The time I saved a baby like, friggin, Bruce Willis running away from an exploding building. My sister, Sarah, was driving through this direction. She called and asked me if there was any severe weather warnings in KS. This shocked me because though the warning had passed, the storms outside were straight. up. horrendous. She told me where she was and all I could muster was, "Um... you just drove through all of the tornado warnings." She was kind of panicky, her four kids were panicky and her baby was super hungry and screaming like crazy. We convinced her to drive back to McPherson and get everyone taken care of and calmed down.
Mind you, this is one girl with three kids in car seats and all the diaper bags that go along with that. And with the rain coming down so hard, we knew that she needed all the help she could get. Arryn and I perched at the front door. I tossed my shoes to the wayside--they'd only slow me down. When Sarah drove up, we bolted. Arryn went to get the kids and I went for Owen, my 8 month old nephew. He was being kind of a maniac but I didn't let his attitude sway me from the task at hand. Sarah grabbed the diaper bag and ran. I finagled the little dude out of his car seat, clutched him to my chest, slammed the door shut and then ran like hell through the downpour and the puddles. He's screaming and confused and I'm thinkin' "Go! Go! Go!" Once we got inside, we were both totally drenched but he stopped crying and just stared at me. I know he was thinking, "You're such a bad ass, Aunt Lib. Also you just saved my life and I'll put you up in a retirement home when you are too old to care for yourself." I know, Owen. I know. (I'm not going to tell you about how halfway between the van and the house, I lost my britches. That's not respectable.) Two days later, my jeans were still damp in places. The rain--it was incredible and unsettling.
And that's just a small sampling of the great things about this week. I think that the majority of what is awesome is all based upon perspective. My perspective has been adjusted and I like it this way. I'm well aware that it won't always come so easily but I'll take it when it does.