Random Saturdays — Heather’s Visit 2013

RQ Babe, Heather, came to visit me last week.  Wednesday night, we went to Studio Movie Grill to see Star Trek:  Into Darkness (again).  We wanted to see it less because of our nerd love for Star Trek (which exists) and more for our hormonal devotion to all the hot dudes in the movie.  I started referring to it as, “Hot Trek:  Into My Pants” and tweeted that we were at SMG watching “Hot Trek” just before we settled in for eye candy and pizza.

The next day, we decided to take advantage of free air conditioning by going to NorthPark Mall and checking out the end of season clearance sales.  The only part of “end of season clearance sales” I really care about is “clearance”.  By the end of Thursday, Heather had a new wardrobe at a great price and I had overpriced candy and discounted underwear.

That night, we met Amanda and Vi for dinner at Scalini’s.  The first question Vi asked me when she sat down was, “Did you watch porn last night?”  That made me wonder if my dad saw my tweet (or the automatic repost to Facebook) with my renaming of Star Trek.  So, I had wine.

We hadn’t seen Vi since the last time Heather visited me, two years ago, even though Vi only lives about 15 minutes away from me.  So,  there was plenty of catching up to do all around.  Vi was stressed out by her current advanced degree studies in genetics, and we encouraged her to switch to something she feels more suited to do.  Vi started asking Amanda about how her schooling is going, and Amanda said that she’s finally settled on a degree on sociology.

Vi — What do you want to do with that degree?
Amanda — Get into social work.
Vi — So is it just because you really wanna be a social worker or…?
Amanda — That and I want to make more money.
The Table — *crickets chirping*
Amanda — You can make money in social work once you get into management.  Like, I wanna eventually make, you know, $45 thousand.

Vi holding up my head because my neck collapsed under the weight of my big Irish head

Vi holding up my head because my neck collapsed under the weight of my big Irish head

The next day, Amanda and I took Heather to Legal Grounds before checking out Froggie’s and Betty Lou.  I don’t mind paying extra at small shops because I like to support small businesses and the local economy, but some things cost even less at these places than they do at giant chain stores.  Afterwards, we headed to the Perot Museum for a day of science and fun.  We ran into Gabriel, who was leaving work as we were arriving.  Amanda and I made dirty jokes about the dinosaur fossils, which is our favorite part of the museum.  After the museum, we walked across the street to El Fenix, which was probably the busiest I’ve ever seen it.  This gave us plenty of time to chat.

I told them about talking to a coworker before I left work on Wednesday to pick up Heather.  He was trying to explain something to me and asked, “Do you have something to draw on?”  I said, “Where’s your mini-whiteboard?!  Why do I spend dollar on you if you’re not even going to use the things I give you?”  This set off a series of jokes about “spend dollar” and Amanda’s $45 thousand.

Amanda told us about the day before she left her ex-boyfriend.  She cleaned so hard that a pimple on her head burst.  She put toilet paper on it in the style of men who cut themselves shaving, then forgot about it being there when she got mad at the other people in the house for being lazy slobs, toilet paper flapping away.  I talked about the time I walked to the store, bought a can of baked beans, walked home, and pulled a pan from the sink full of dirty dishes (thanks to others in the house even though we had just moved in that day.)  I washed the pan, poured in my beans, and cried into them as I listened to my ex-boyfriend talk and laugh heartily with his sister in the other room, even though he hadn’t spoken to me in two weeks.  I didn’t realize that he had already broken up with me for the second time in two weeks without telling me (he didn’t tell me the first time either.)  Amanda and I laughed so hard that we could barely breathe as we told our stories of woe.

Amanda serenading Heather at Scalini's

Amanda serenading Heather at Scalini’s

We also talked about how we liked Heather’s hair.
Me — Yeah, I always tell Heather that I like her highlights.  I usually think highlights look stupid, like they’re a mistake, but her highlights are always so pretty.
Amanda — I’ve been thinking about getting highlights.

Heather’s step-dad gave her money to take us out to dinner, and when Heather went to the bathroom, I tried to explain Heather’s family dynamic to Amanda.
Me — So, her real dad is in prison.  I mean, he’s not in prison.
Amanda — Then who’s in prison?
Me — Nobody

We wiped our tears of laughter away, paid our bill, and Amanda headed home as Heather and I walked to the American Airlines Center to see the New Kids.  Next week, I’ll tell you how the concert began with a broken heart and knee, but ended with giddy joy.

Random Saturdays – Amanda and Angela’s Snow Day

When it snows in the DFW metroplex, everything basically shuts down because we don’t get light, powdery, fluffy snow.  No, in North Texas, we get icy snow that turns even icier on the roads.  Luckily, my friend, Amanda, and I had already planned to take the day off to visit a museum.  By the time we got going, the snow had stopped, the roads had dried up, and everyone had made their two-hour commutes to work.  I met her at her place and we celebrated by making snowballs in her apartment parking lot and throwing them at the outside wall of her apartment building.  We weren’t worried about disturbing anyone because the only thing more pitiful than our snowballs were our throwing abilities.

We set off for lunch at Legal Grounds, a local cafe started by a lawyer that, as Amanda says, “needed the money.”  On the way there, we passed an old Jeep Cherokee and started talking about how we always liked Jeeps when we were growing up, but we don’t really like them now because they look like every other SUV  and not like Jeeps at all.  At Legal Grounds, we drank our coffee, ate our Prom Cakes (banana oatmeal pancakes topped with fresh vanilla granola and caramel apple syrup), and started talking about the art in the place, which had changed since we were last there in fall.  One of the paintings was of a lion, which made me think of how majestic, beautiful, and damnhellass scary lions are.  That made me wonder how I would react if a lion attacked me, which made me think about how I don’t like guns, which made me think about how Amanda and I have been saying for years that gang fights in the 80s were cooler than gang fights nowadays because knives are cooler than guns.  Our motto is, “Bring Back Stabbing.”  So I told Amanda that I wanted to get a tattoo of a lion with a tattoo of a knife on my fist.  She said we should get a Jeep Cherokee from the 80s and put a picture of a lion with a tattoo of a knife on it on the Jeep so that nobody would try to steal it.

My dream and worst fear combined

My dream and worst fear combined

From there, we went to the Perot Museum, which was even cooler than I thought it would be, even though the space exhibit was a bit blah.  We also ran into Gabriel there!  I hadn’t seen him in over a year, so that was exciting.  Afterwards, we went across the street to eat at El Fenix.  Theoretically, this should have been easy, but every time I told Amanda, “I think you turn left here,” she’d turn right, and vice versa.  So it took awhile to get there, but it was funny giving directions to her on Opposite Day.

Part of my belated Christmas gift to Amanda (thanks to Groupon) was taking her to see The Hobbit at the Studio Movie Grill. We had time to kill between dinner and the movie, so we decided to make a Starbucks stop because Amanda had been craving it for a week.  I thought there was a Starbucks closer than the one we were heading to, but I couldn’t remember where it was.  While we were driving, I saw it and pointed it out, so Amanda turned into the parking lot, parked right in front of it, and said, “I don’t see it.”  We laughed.  I thought she was joking, but then she asked, “Why did you tell me to go to the bird store?”  At this point, I realized that while I was looking at Starbucks, she was looking at the bird store beside it.  I pointed out Starbucks to her and we laughed, and then we sat in the car with the headlights on and the engine running for another minute.  I asked, “Are we gonna do this or what?”  We laughed again and finally made our way towards coffee.

Afterwards, we made a couple of quick stops at a nearby shopping center to look for clearance coats, but we didn’t have any luck.  How can you charge over $200 for a coat that was made in China?  Has the cost of child labor gone up?  What are your overheads?  We gave up and headed for the movies.  This specific theater used to be a different movie theater, but has been completely redone. It now has crazy young people music with lots of computer-based instruments, giant couches and chairs that are hard to get out of once you sit down, and a huge bar stocked with booze.  There are flat screen TVs all over the place (anyone else think TVs in a movie theater is strange?) advertising specials or playing sports shows of some sort.  Studio Movie Grill theaters are normally just a bunch of chairs with a bunch of tables, but this one had stadium seating, which is great for moviegoers who don’t want to watch the waitstaff run back and forth all night.  I still don’t understand how the waitstaff carries all that food up and down stairs all day and night , but by golly, they do.  We had already eaten, so we didn’t get 2nd dinner, but we did get sodas as part of the Groupon deal.  I also ordered cookies because it was Snow Day dammit and we were watching The Hobbit dammit so I wanted to be a 12-year-old fatass and eat cookies and drink soda while I watched my movie.  The movie was good, and I didn’t get a headache until about two hours in, so that was nice.

After the movie, we headed to our separate abodes, filled with the sense of exhaustion that comes with Snow Days when you’re not 12.  Amanda and I have had many exciting Snow Days over the year, but this is going to be one of the few that I actually remember because I doubled up on ginkgo biloba that day.