I’m still on vacation, since my very first journal entry yesterday, in which I was also on vacation. It’s great. Five more days here. Today has been spent reading, making brunch for my mom and my newly-returned-from-New York-visiting-our-dad sister, and taking a nap. I just woke up and ate a large bowl of out-of-season corn off the cob, in tribute to my days with braces on my teeth. I think a walk on the beach may be in my immediate future.
I’m all about keeping it on the down low when I’m off work. Last time I was in Miami I was here to be a bridesmaid for my sweet friend Marah and it was a little hectic, to say the least. This time it’s been very slow and dreamy and peaceful. Carl gave me a little backrub this afternoon and we were both surprised at how un-tense my poor little shoulders were. The very cynical and sad part of me, which also seems to be on vacation at the moment (I’m sure it will meet me at SeaTac when I go back, though), says that tension will set in soon. But the new peaceful Zen let-it-all-go-and-live-in-the-moment bit of me is very happy right now.
So, yesterday was loverly. I woke up and had breakfast with my mom before she went to work. When Carl woke up we read the paper and petted all fifty-nine million, eighty-three thousand, four hundred and twenty eight cats walking around the house. Took a little walk to the video store to return all the videos we’d watched during Christmas…one of the really nice things about where I grew up in Miami, and where I am currently ensconced, is the walkability of everything. I am SO ashamed of what a spoiled brat I was as a teenager with my new-to-me Toyota, driving two and a half blocks to my best friend’s house. I mean really. I love walking the grocery store here and to the park. Yes! A park a block away! So nice!
Mom came home at noon and she and Carl and I went to Miami Beach to see The Fellowship of the Rings. I finished the entire trilogy last week and so I felt ready for it, as I love nothing better, when confronted with a movie made from a book, to whisper cattily at key places “That never happened. That doesn’t happen in the book. It’s not like that in the book.” I’m surprised anyone even goes to the movies with me anymore, really.
I have to say, though, that I sure date a sweet boy who came along to see this movie with me and my mom. Clearly, my mom is the best and anyone, whether he was dating me or not, would be happy to go to the movies with her. But still, you know, not many boys are into that. When I mentioned to him later how cool I thought he was for this, he just smiled really sweet and big and said “I like your mom!” Like it was this every day thing. Maybe it is for some folks.
Be that as it may, I was sure glad to be sitting between my sweetie and my mom during this movie, because I got sort of, uh, scared during some parts of it. Mostly by the orcs with their slobbering noseless faces and by the Ringwraith guys. If nothing else, the movie did a good job emotionally because I was so relieved when they finally make it to Rivendell, you know? One of the things I like about the first book is the time Tolkien takes to explicate the details of hobbit life and to develop the various relationships between Frodo and Bilbo, Frodo and Sam, and so forth. I was sort of disappointed that they couldn’t go into that kind of thing more in the movie…but not really, as it does a fine job just as it is. I might have cut the wizard duel scene, as well as the whole Galadriel-turns-blue-and-utters-scary-words-in-a-voice-of-doom-voice thing, and probably the extended troll and Balrog footage in the mines of Moria. I think Peter Jackson did a tremendous job though, because at the end of three hours I wasn’t bored at all and was ready for more. Plus, I’m all over whoever played Legolas The Elf With Long Long Hair. So, yeah, cool. But I was very glad that I had two people who love me enough not to laugh when I was all trembling at the sight of a Black Rider.
After the movie, Carl and I went to the aforementioned park to meet the aforementioned Marah and her aforementioned-by-association husband Craig, as well as our friends Rick and Dede and their three kids, and our other friend Omar. They’d already gone to Sir Pizza though, so we walked over there to meet them.
And now, my as-yet-unrealized readers, I must pause for a moment to praise my hometown pizza, Sir Pizza. Yes, that’s right, Sir Pizza, and their little logo is of a guy with a sword and a pizza for a shield. Sir Pizza. As a kid I used to go there a minimum of once a week with my mom and sister and whatever various little girls were spending the night. At that time it was kind of dark and creepy, and there were some big scary thirteen year olds who played tabletop Ms. Pacman and smoked cigarettes in the back hall. I wasn’t allowed to go back there. During my misguided early adolescence, when I was sampling the forbidden fruit of non-Sir Pizza pizza, they kind of redid it over and made it better lit and put beach scenes on the wall and ferns and stuff, and so it remains today.
But yall, the pizza. Here’s the secret: you know how in normal, inferior, non-Sir Pizza pizza, they cut it into big triangular slices? Well, at Sir Pizza they cut it…follow me closely…into little square slices. Yes they do. AND, instead of round flat pepperoni, their pepperoni is small and also square. Such small, simple variations on the norm make for Pure Pizza Genius, I promise you. Coming back home always means that I’ll eat Sir Pizza at least twice while I’m here. Makes me cry just to think about it.
So, Sir Pizza, me, Carl, Marah, Craig, Omar, Rick, Dede, and Children. It was pretty useless trying to have an Adult Conversation with the kids there, who, as they live in Ft. Lauderdale, do not get to eat Sir Pizza every weekend, and were stuffing their own and each others’ faces with it from every possible angle, as is only right and natural. We settled for talking about the movie, which everyone had seen except the kids. They’d only had The Hobbit read to them. The oldest girl asked if it was a scary movie, and I said it was. She asked if Gollum was in it, and I said yes, briefly. I told her I was a little scared of Gollum, at which juncture she started screaming “My precious! My precious!” Rick, her dad, sat across the table beaming in quiet parental pride at this little trick of hers that he’d taught her…he was also proud when she did the ice-down-the-shirt thing later in the evening. Anyway, I (sort of) feigned terror at her rendition, which only caused her to scream “My precious!” louder. Rick and Dede told the other kids to chime in and so all three of them were shrieking it at me. It was so great. Barry, the proprietor of Sir Pizza, didn’t bat an eye.
The other incident of moment was when the kids were getting ready to leave and Dede told them all to hug us goodbye. Little Mikael, their youngest son, maybe two and a half, had been sitting on the floor admiring my sparkly toenail polish, and he somehow climbed up the back of my chair to give me a hug from behind, which allowed him to hug me from behind by the simple method of slamming one pudgy Sir Pizza stained hand onto each of my, uh, breasts, and squeezed the hell out of them, much to my surprise. I thought Marah was going to die laughing.
Marah, Omar, Carl and I (Craig wasn’t feeling well) went to the Grove to get coffee, and that was also interesting because I went to Snooty Prep School in the Grove (Coconut Grove, for all you tourists out there) and spent a great deal of time as a tenth grader or whatever “going to the Grove,” which meant you put on your Cavariccis if you had them and put your hair into your tightest side ponytail and walked around and looked at very expensive and ugly clothes in all the boutiques, and bought cheap silver rings and went for a rickshaw ride. I graduated from high school almost ten years ago and am so glad to be able to report that I don’t feel any of the weird secret shames I used to feel walking round there. I used to try so hard to dress right and do all the cool things. This time I busted out there in circa-1998 cargo pants and a tank top and Tevas and held my head high as many skinny girls strutted on by in tube tops. It was all good. A good ending to a good day.
So, this journal is still sort of a secret, although Carl knows about it…indeed he was the final impetus for me to finally sign up, after having told him about diary-x.com about eighty-three million times. This is only my second entry, but it’s fun to be doing it. I really hope that the good days I’m having will stay with me to some extent when I go back to beautiful Seattle and some of the not-so-beautiful issues I’m having there. Maybe this little journal can help me hold onto these good feelings, these perfect days.