Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 July 22 | Veruca Salt

There are some nights that just come right on time. After a few weeks of mounting minor annoyances of all the little daily obligations we have, I was relieved to spend Wednesday night with two of my nearest and dearest over good food, drink and RAWK.

I arrived to The Grove early, so I parked and had a house Manhattan at the delightfully charming Handlebar, and while perusing the menu, I began slightly questioning our choice of restaurant for the evening. Mental Note: Come back here. Soon. There is Pirogi and Borscht on the menu!

It was actually a touch warm, albeit beautiful evening, so I parked my car and Di and I walked to the wonderful little Vietnamese joint in the St. Louis' Central West End, Little Saigon. Our server had a delightfully unexpected razor-sharp wit for the hour and withstood our either bad (Diana's) or refusal to attempt (mine) Vietnamese pronunciation, as well as the the constant delayed decision-making that comes with perusing a menu with a friend you haven't seen in awhile, with absolute beauty. It's great dining with a good friend who tells you to essentially "get your own damn spring rolls," because then you discover it's wonderful to not have to share. Our visit was made all the richer when we giggled over the hipster-appeal of Pho as the single gentleman in his 30s next to us ordered that very dish. He gave us a ribbing and tried to convince us to try it to no avail; it was too HOT for soup!

Off we sauntered to the Ready Room in The Grove and caught the tail end of Charly Bliss' last cut. We ordered drinks and waited patiently along with the pretty full house for the headliner, Veruca Salt.

Last I saw Veruca was in 2000 at Mississippi Nights, when Louise Post alone was the remaining original member on the Resolver tour and Nina Gordon also toured separately following her solo album, Tonight and the Rest of My Life. I celebrated both albums, but my love for the fearless leaders -- who have fortunately now buried the hatchet and are touring together with mates Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack in support of the first combined effort in 17 years -- is far stronger for Louise. Nina's vocals and songwriting is so pretty in comparison to Louise's more rock-and-roll, devil-may-care visceral style.

Their set stuck mostly to their joint efforts of Ghost Notes, American Thighs and Eight Arms To Hold You. The highly energetic set failed to disappoint musically, but was unfortunately mired by bad (house) sound engineering and some tuning problems with Nina's guitar, both of which Louise became less patient as the show went on.  By the time the encore rolled around, it was pretty clear by his waning tempo that Jim's was getting tired. After 1 hour 15 minutes, I'd be tired too; hell, I *was* tired, and found my old ass to be kind of thrilled the encore lasted only 2 songs.

We discussed possibly more dancing and drinks, but to me, no summer night is complete with out ice cream. Also too, it was a school night, after all. So at my behest, Beth drove us to Jenis for a few scoops, and just in time, too; we arrived with only a few minutes to spare. Fortunately, the girls behind the counter obliged us; my Black Currant Sorbet and Sweet Cream just the deliciousness and sugar blast I needed for the 40 minute drive home back to the suburbs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fashion Through the Ages

My girlfriends and I were recently group texting regarding our bad fashion choices and collective dorkery of our youth. My closest girlfriend sent photographic evidence, so I felt compelled to share snippets of mine as well. I couldn't narrow it down to just one look, because as I looked through my albums, I realized that my own style was very uniquely evolving in its own mutant-dork way.

Please enjoy the varying questionable hair and fashion choices I made through my youth; it's amazing that I had friends with the various assortment of vests and the conscious choice of sporting a mullet and a perm ...

Age 8. The hoop dress and curled too-short bangs atop a mullet, Christmas morning. 

Age 9, the mullet continues ...  super cool shirt, huh? Yeah. I really thought so. Same with my awesome fanny pack (pictured).

Age 11. Jesus. I want to kick my OWN ass looking at this. Did I really think I was going to make it through middle school with this look!? A home-made vest? A herringbone chain? I look like DJ in that episode of Full House where she goes to school thinking she looks all awesome and instead is dressed identically to her teacher. PS WHERE are my eyebrows?

Age 12. The tie-dye onesie bib-type whatever that was. And fake Keds. And slouch socks. Growing out "the wedge."

Age 12, continued. More fake Keds. More slouch socks. And collection of sweet, sweet troll-dolls. Note the cinched V-neck tee. And perm. And music stand for my flute. Where is my effing Caboodle!?

Age 13. I legitimately promise I wanted a boyfriend, I swear.

Age 13, continued. I really, REALLY thought this outfit was cool. Like, off-the-charts badass. It was a body suit, that I got at the MALL, in an actual JUNIORS SHOP. Note the tulle ruffle around the collar and wrists. Note to future self: this is what trying too hard looks like. PPS My boobs didn't come in for another 2 years.

Age 13, continued (again). Okay, this one is actually pretty cool. Look at how AWESOME I am in my PJ shirt! I'm still pissed that I misplaced it after graduation.

Age 14. The 90s essentials; long dangly necklace, oversized rayon print dress, suede granny boots, and blonde hair dye. You actually wish you were this cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bye, Bye Doggie

I vacuumed up the last of the hair that would fall from her coat to the floor today. And although I know I'll be vacuuming up her fuzz for years to come, I'd been putting it off because I knew how sad that thought would make me.

Pragmatism tells us that losing a pet seems like it should be a natural thing. We know they're not going to out live us, that they obviously won't live forever. 

So I wasn't prepared for the heartbreak that would come with the loss of our Maggie.

She passed before we could say our final goodbye. She'd been declining every year of her thirteen, but had very sick for four days and we knew when she stopped trying to stand that it was time. We'd driven her nearly three hours home to the vet to put her out of her pain, and no sooner did they put in her IV in the operating room did she stop breathing. Brian said she lifted her head one last time on her way out the door. 

Her goodbye to him.

When they called us in to the operating room, she was already gone; we got to witness the death rattle as the vet informed us there was no heartbeat. We were both bawling and clutching her body, giving all our love with which we could to send her away, everything we should have done before she left the room and thought we had time to do as they administered her dose.

As we're hugging her body, the vet says she hears a faint heartbeat again. So she administers the dose and Maggie the Lab's -- the happiest, sweetest dog ever -- story has ended.

I haven't told Brian, but I get the feeling that its because of his presence that her heartbeat returned. Their love and bond was so strong, they were so close, that I think for a second she heard his voice and was trying to come back.

While Maggie lay dying on the operating room floor, I remember looking up at one point toward the open door to the crated animals. I saw the saddest little face on a small shaggy white dog peering at us. S/he was looking at me, and it made me sad that s/he had to witness this whole scene, but at the same time, that little look offered me more empathy and comfort than -- although both helpful and welcome -- any words of condolence from any human has yet to relay.