Monday, November 29, 2010

O, Pumpkin Pie

Wherefore art thou, dearest pie?
Thou sat before me firm upon my plate
Thou didst beckon
Though I tried to resist
But thy fragrant filling pulled me in
And, topped with whipped cream,
Thou didst win.

And now I look for thee still.

Lingering behind me
Thou dost jiggle when I move
Yet the sight of thee is unseen.

Though not invisible thou are.

And now, dear heart of all gourds,
Thou cannot stay forever.
For my jeans cannot give way to thy girth
Thou hast put upon my backside.

So off to the gym I go with thee.

Dropping thee off at the treadmill.

Leaving thee on the weight bench.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Valley of the Sun?

Naturally it rained my only full day in Arizona. But not even the chilly drizzle could wash away the fun of being away with my girls.

Ellie and Amelia were able to go with me to Scottsdale for the trip, we stayed with my in-laws and enjoyed time relaxing on a walk through Grammy and Grandpa's gated 'hood and witnessed a man in a Hummer sweep into a handicapped parking space (and side access area) and then run - able-bodied - into church.

The highlight of the trip, of course, was attending the National Charity League tea. My daughters and I are not members, but my cousin-in-law, Chris, and her daughters, Rachael and Paige, are. They had looked for a local journalist, author or reporter to speak but could not find anyone able to make the commitment that afternoon.

Too bad for those people, as they all missed a fantastic event.

The tea was held at McCormick Ranch Golf Club (indoors, for the Kansas gale that brought us there brought rain along with it). The room was decorated floor-to-ceiling in the Alice in Wonderland theme of the tea. Brightly colored paper lanterns hung from above, and big, beautiful flowers grew up from the tables, which were covered in jewel-toned tablecloths and black and white striped runners. Delicious iced tea, complete with a "Drink Me" tag on each straw, was served during the social time, with hot tea served throughout the program.

Plates full of scones rounded the table, with clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry preserves right behind. Just when I was coming to terms with the end of those delicious treats, Chris told me it was show time.

She gave the most glowing introduction a person could ask for, and I made my way to the platform and podium to speak.

I gave the crowd of 250 a rundown of my journey through my own looking glass and enjoyed every moment of it. Even when the sun finally came out and beat in through the wall of windows directly behind me, leaving me to feel as though my backside were under a heat lamp in a buffet line, entertaining the group of lively women and teens was a blast.

Portion lasted just a few minutes longer than had been allowed, long enough to feel the back of my dress begin to cling to my legs from the heat behind. But no one seemed to notice but me.

The Class of 2014 presented their mothers with interesting tidbits about them while I inhaled the tea sandwiches (it is a toss-up as to whether my favorite was the chicken-mango-chutney or the cucumber), and the program concluded.

My girls sat through the event - maybe even enjoyed their mom?? - and recorded my speech. They tell me they added special visual effects throughout, I cannot wait to see that.

We said goodbye to the Valley yesterday morning, but not before meeting Bruce Vilanch, one of my favorite writers, at Sky Harbor Airport. He was heading to Florida "for a minute" and then on to New York, and I was hanging on his every word. Funny and nice.

I like that.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Airplane Etiquette, Part 1

Parts 2 - ?? have not been written, but I am pretty sure they will follow shortly. As for Part 1...

It's called a tissue. You use it to blow your nose. Otherwise you risk angry glares from the 39-year-old mom across the aisle. Think I'm picky for putting on my headphones? The man next the sniffer had foam earplugs.

Worse than gum-chewing. Even worse than body odor. The three solid hours of sniffing every 6-8 seconds wins the prize for most irritating trait on a plane. I'll take the chronic talker, the bragger, the depressed ex-fiance, the parents with the baby, the bratty six-year-old, the window seat passenger with the pea-sized bladder, all of them over Mr. Sniffles.

But it is okay. Tomorrow's sunshine awaits.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Off to the Valley of the Sun!

I have been invited to speak at the Scottsdale Chapter of the National Charity League for their annual tea this weekend. The sun cannot shine soon enough on my paling Midwestern face. Oh, if I could harness the heat and bring it back with me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hide the Keys

Actual conversation between my daughters as overheard by my husband, who they believed had already left the house...

Ellie (13): Hey, Amelia, I'm not saying we should do this...
Amelia (11): Do what?
Eliie: Well, if we were to take the car out, which one do you think would be the gas pedal?

This is why we have gray hair.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Band Practice

Once upon a time, there was a man named Billy Idol.

Billy had some rockin' biceps, a killer snarl and he loved to jump off things when he sang on stage. He likely hooked up with a number of girls in his day, I do not know firsthand. I was not one of them.

But I do know with 99.9% certainty that Billy Idol never once dreamed someday I, Julie Dunlap, would be blogging from my living room while my basement full of dads worked on their cover of "Dancing with Myself."

He probably also did not anticipate these same church-going dads next tackling Poison. (Talk Dirty to Me.)

And those are two things Billy Idol and I have in common.