Remember me? I used to write a blog here. Back when I was brimming with time and ideas. Brimming! But for the last couple weeks I’ve just been brimming with deadlines. And 14-hour workdays. And that bloated, greasy feeling you get when you eat fast food twice in a row because you barely have time to wash all the pee off your hands, much less sit down for a decent meal.
Unfortunately, deadlines and 14-hour workdays aren’t exactly a wellspring of interesting blog content. Unless you want to hear about the web site and the branding guidelines and the relaunch collateral I’ve been writing. Which I’m pretty sure you don’t. Trust me. Brimming!
But! The fiancé and I did sneak off to Iowa this weekend to help celebrate my uncommonly photogenic nephew’s ninth birthday. And his idea of a celebration was a good old-fashioned roller-skating party. Which I think I was more excited about than he was. But only because I own Xanadu on DVD and he doesn’t. Yet.
Before the party, though, we all had to carbo-load, which we did by stuffing our bellies full of my sister’s delicious gluten-free sour cream waffles:
And why did we eat gluten-free? Because my sister is gluten intolerant. Which is exactly like being gay intolerant except without the lack of logic or the angry, unhinged diatribes on the local editorial pages. Click here if you want to buy some of my sister’s company’s delicious you’d-never-know-it-was-gluten-free gluten-free baking mixes. They’re gluten-hostile! But gay friendly! And the more you buy, the sooner my sister can surprise me with a nice retirement mansion in Barcelona.
Once we were coursing with gluten-free energy, we packed up and headed off to Super Skate, where I hadn’t stepped a single wheel-booted foot since my feathered hair and I had celebrated endless grade-school birthdays on its endless expanse of reasonably smooth flooring:
Super Skate, I was a little disturbed to discover, has not changed much since the late 1970s. The skating floor is still cracked. The carpet is still puckery. The check-in area still looks like the visitors’ lounge in a medium-security prison. The whole place still smells like mildew, wasted youth and spilled soda. And the giant macramé owl still hangs on the wall outside the bathrooms:
But—despite the deejay’s unforgivable lack of access to a recording of “Xanadu”—we had a blast. My nephew, who is usually pretty mild-mannered, proved himself to be a bit of a skating prodigy. But my normally fearless niece just could not convince herself that stiff-limbed marching plus a death grip on her uncle does not equal skating. She clung to me like Mike Huckabee to his hubris through the entire Hannah Montana songbook, threatening to bring me down every time the forces of inertia and gravity got the best of her. Eventually, I just realized I could hoist her off the floor whenever she was about to lose control and then lower her back once her frantic kicking stopped. It was just like Olympic pairs skating, except with dumber choreography. And fewer sequins. And no National Anthem at the end. But it was still awesome, though our time on the rink left me with the lingering LCL knee pain I usually get after a long training run.
That night we had a celebratory dinner at a place called Fiesta del Sol, which is español for “You have some nerve coming into our restaurant and asking us to bring you food. We are very busy right now doing things that, quite frankly, do not need to involve bringing you food. Things like leaving our Precious Moments® crèches on display in March. Right next to our creepy collection of dusty Mexican witch dolls. Which are really the remains of the last people who came into our restaurant and selfishly requested that we bring them food. Just like you! Let this be a lesson to you, you arrogant and disruptive food-asker-forers. By the way, we have exceptionally delicious blended strawberry margaritas with sugar on the rim.”