Tuesday, March 26, 2019

What's Making Me Happy This Week

Things I'm thinking about, reading, enjoying...

// When we took the girls to Disney On Ice, Clem clamored for the light-up wands, giant plastic cups, noise-makers and we told her "oh, you don't want that junk!" She responded by yelling at us / the vendors, waving madly: "I want junk! I want that junk! JUNK!!!" I thought about that (and the Polly Pockets, squishy toys that disintegrate immediately, McDonald's toys...) when I read this article about pathological consumption.

// Scampi butter. The grocery store sells several compound butters and this one is very garlicky and delicious. Thaw shrimp in a colander, throw in pan with butter, saute until pink --> a tasty dinner in no time. I bought more shrimp tonight at Costco for exactly this dinner plan.

// Paula's Choice Omega+ moisturizer. I bought a new moisturizer to use with the new powerhouse Retin-A I've started. (I was hoping my vitiligo would fight off my melasma, but no such luck). The texture of the moisturizer is fabulous - sort of fluffy. For a long time I used every mattifying, satin-finish product I could find but now I embrace having downright shiny skin. (Thank you, Katie Jane Hughes!) One, I apply five skin care products THEN sunscreen every morning - matte isn't happening - and two, shiny skin is youthful skin!

// Being AHEAD in my reading goal so far this year. I've read or listened to eight books so far. My favorites: the audiobook version of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - the narrator is so wonderful - and A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore. Right now I'm reading Isaac Mizrahi's memoir - next up is Madeline Miller's Circe.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Girls Just Wanna Weekend

On the day of the polar vortex in late January, Luke and I headed to sunny Riviera Maya, Mexico, for Brandi Carlile's inaugural Girls Just Wanna Weekend!

Music started on the main stage in the evening. There were activities durng the day - yoga, painting, margarita-making contest - but we opted to sleep in, read, walk around, people watch. I finished Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles and began Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan.

The line up:

Wednesday: Shawn Colvin; Brandi Carlisle

Thursday: The Secret Sisters; KT Tunstall; Brandi and friends - songs in the round; Indigo Girls

Friday: Lucius and Maren Morris

Saturday: Ruby Amanfu; Mavis Staples; Brandi Carlisle; Ladies of the 80s (80s covers by all the artists)

On the first night we met Maren Morris' parents and ended up playing pool with them later. We met SO many friendly people ... the retired police officers who are genealogy buffs and taught us the term "NPE" [non-paternal event]; the graphic designer handing out free postcards she made for the event; a couple who travels around to Brandi concerts and invited us to hang out on their stage-side balcony. Everyone was just so nice and so excited to be there. It was a powerful energy to soak up.

(We don't appear in the recap video but it does capture the fun and great mood of it all).

We were walking on a sidewalk and I spotted an iguana (always on the lookout for them - they're terrifying) and Luke walked right past it, unaware, and I squealed and it turned lightning-fast and jumped down a drain. THAT was terrifying. They can move fast!

The view from the upper balcony with a hot tub and a wall that I could drag a chair next to and enjoy some shade.

I have been following Pete Souza, Obama's White House photographer, on Instagram for a long time and knew that he also photographs Brandi Carlile frequently. THEN I saw he was posting photos from this event! I kept an eye out and finally spotted him walking toward me on a sidewalk. "MR SOUZA!" I shouted. "I'M A HUGE FAN OF YOUR WORK!" Luke got this photo. It was a huge thrill to meet him!

We met a great couple from Montana who took us off the resort for seafood -- here the waiter is tempting us with a live lobster.

I'm not a beach person but the resort was very nice except for the food - the food was meh - but I was expecting cruise food (delicious - at least gobs of fresh fruit available) and that was not the case at the Hard Rock. Expectations ruin everything!

This seafood tower was what I wanted to eat the entire time.

I don't care where I am I'm still going to order bacon-wrapped jalapenos.

Scooped-out pineapple with a mix of pineapple, shrimp, ham, and very salty cheese.

After the shows on the last night, I went to bed and Luke went out. He came back later saying, "you gotta get up! Lucius is in the hot tub!" [We've been fans of Lucius since 2014, listen to their records frequently, and have a running joke stemming from this:

Houston, Texas, circa 2015: Clementine and I were in a muggy McDonald's bathroom and some country song by a female singer came on and Clementine, little feet dangling off the toilet, said: "Is this is Lucius?"

So we're big fans and they were a large part of the reason we went to Mexico. (And planning to see them this summer!) Luke ended up in a hot tub with Lucius and other night owls, singing Billy Joel songs. At one point they asked around for cigarettes and no one had any ... Luke, Fan Boy, said "I'll find some!" and ran dripping through the resort to find an employee, any employee. He found someone with a walkie talkie who radio'ed his request and ZOOM someone appeared on a golf cart with two cigarettes. Which he then presented to Lucius (Jess and Holly) with flourish.

By the time he retrieved me, they were gone ... but we have this photo. (Which Luke, Fan Boy, asked a stranger to text to him).

We met a fabulous couple on the flight from St Louis to Cancun and saw them several times (the resort isn't that big). We were on the same flight home and they gave us a holiday card:

Yes, this means Blair travels with not just holiday cards but envelopes and at least TWO colors of markers. I'm not worthy!!! The only reason I've unpacked at all from the Mexico trip is because I've been on two trips since!