A few weeks ago, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, was the Hand Born Modern Craft Bazaar. I had heard about this even for a few months. So many people had told me that I had to check it out but when it came time to go, no one wanted to go with me. Cocodoodle saved me at last minute and spontaneously agreed to be my date for a girl's night of craft faire and wine afterwards.
Hand Born was started in 2004 It took place in downtown Modesto. I had been to the art walks that downtown Modesto hosts on Thursady nights and it was very much like that. The bazaar
Brother: Peace out y'all. *Donnie types extra loud getting weird looks from people on the bus* (Side note: My brother and I force each other to say this at the end of every phone conversation. It is especially fun for the other when one is in a public place or with other people. Then we force that person to say it louder than usual)
Sister: *Jenny rolls eye in complete disbelief*
Brother: Whatever. I am hilarious. Bye.
Sister: Uh...in a daiquiri holding, unicorn lovin' kinda way (which you should totally be for Halloween)...bye.
Brother: Or in a Steve McQueen roadhalling Osama Bin Laden across an active volcano kind of way.
Sister: Oh one more thing, did you see the article about the World Series on the Onion? Hilarious.
Uh...isn't there still some gay subtext with McQueen? But I like the volcano part...totally not gay at all.
Brother: 2 things. I haven't seen the Onion thing yet and nothing about McQueen or fans of McQueen is gay. A mean look from him could make both Chuck Norris and the Old Spice guy go sisssies in their pants out of fear.
Sister: But the volcano...anything you want to retract from that?
Brother: There is nothing gay about geological processes.
Sister: Whatever. If I have to have this argument with you then I am just wasting my breath. Apparently you are not ready to be honest with yourself yet. Its ok, mom and I will still love you. It might take a while for dad but he will come around. He already told me that he is ok with adopted grandchildren. Its ok if DHW4 (my brother is a third, he has already promised my father that his first son will be a fourth) is Chinese, or black even. Dad's cool with that (the adoption part is totally true BTW. Dad and I had a conversation about it when he was pressuring me to make him a grandpa....long story)
At this point in the conversation my brother called me on the phone to hear the adoption story.
I had been anticipating La Soiree for about two months. I was excited when I got my ticket in the mail. I was excited to buy something new and fancy to wear to the event. The night before I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for Santa.
I had to work all day prior to leaving for the event that started at 6:00PM. I was lucky enough to get off work an hour early and thank goodness. It was one of the worst days at work that I had had up to that point. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I left and headed strait to my friend Cocodoodle's house (not her real but one that she has had ever since seeing Coco Before Chanel together about a year ago, maybe longer. I am bad with the passing of time). After a few minutes of trying to convince her fine food obsessed sister to hop in the car with us, we were on our way.
We reached Livermore by 6:00PM and I thought, 'Great, we are making pretty good time. We will be sipping French wine and eating pate in another hour or so. At the very latest another two hours or so.'
Famous last words.
It was one of the first heavy rains of the season. While I might be a decent driver in the rain, those around me on the 580 were not. We finally reached my brother's apartment around 7:30PM. A little later than I had hoped but still early enough that we might still have a decent time. I had Cocodoodle call for a cab when we were about 15 minutes away from his place. Our plan was to leave my car there and take a taxi to La Soiree so we wouldn't have to worry about how we would get the car back to the apartment and everyone could be a little more irresponsible and no one would have to worry about being sober driver, we would let Yellow Cab handle that. We got through to Yellow Cab and an automated service let us know that our taxi would be there in 15 minutes. We gave them my brother's address, planted ourselves under umbrellas in front of his apartment in our fancy clothes and waited...and waited. After 20 minutes I called the service again. This time I reached an actual human. His only words for our taxi not being there, 'Oh, its on its way.' Click. No apology, no indication that we would be on our way anytime soon....nothing. While stranded in front of my brother's apartment we witnessed a family of raccoons sleuth and sneak from one apartment to the next across the street from us. It was strange to watch and the creep factor rose when they became aware of us across the street and all four looked up at us and froze all at once. Ten seconds later they were on their way again. After 35 minutes of waiting for the stinkin' cab, my brother's roommate walked out of the apartment.
'Hi, I am Don's sister, do you remember me?'
'Oh yeah...uh...hi...' (hesitantly)
'I just didn't want you to think that we were some creepy stalker girls standing in front of your apartment. We are supposed to meet my brother at the Metreon and we are just waiting for our cab'
'How long have you been waiting? You will never get one out here'
'35 minutes, they promised to be here in 15.'
'Do you guys want a ride? It is kinda on the way the where I am going'
I wasn't about to be polite and modest...who knows when the cab was going to get there?
On the way we compared stories about how unintentionally funny my brother is. She asked me why my brother will laugh loudly, alone, while watching TV. I had to admit that it was a family thing, both my mother and myself do it. It takes awhile for those that know us to understand and accept it.
We had FINALLY arrived. We took the elevator to the fourth floor, past the neo-goth teenagers, past the concession stands. We found my brother on the balcony (with one of the most amazing views of downtown San Francisco, by the way), in the rain, about 2 sheets in. His best friend may have already been at 3 sheets. Cocodoodle and I had to catch up quick.
I wanted to get some food in me first. The first table I went to had a chicken liver pate that sounds like dog food but tasted amazing. Not as amazing as the spinach terrine that was next to it. That dish was da bomb! I filled my glass with an unknown red (decent but not great) and took a walk around the place. The balcony was gorgeous but other than that the venue kinda stunk for the event. The way it was laid out, people ended up bottle-necked around some of the more popular tables, preventing others from getting by. It made mad- dashes for wine almost impossible. Next was a white, and another red. We were starting to get loosened up (ok, I was starting to get loosened up, Cocodoodle kept asking me 'Do I seem drunk? I am already drunk') We hit on another glass of red that I was sure was my favorite, Pinot Noir. What I wouldn't give to have been more attentive because that glass was fantastic! The best of the night.
Finally good and lubricated, I took in the fabulous of it all. Beautiful people speaking French everywhere (Note to self: Put that birthday gift of audio French to work and learn the language already). A strange Shakespearean nymph looking creature, on stilts! Marie Antoinette face painting unicorns on grown men when intoxicated. The men, not Marie Antoinette...
I wish we would have arrived earlier. I wish the venue would have had a better flow. I wish there would have been more desserts (although I was told that there were lots more there before we got there, drats). Other than that, this is definitely something I would do again. I am already making plans for next year.
Oh, I almost forgot the best part. At the end of the night we got our groove on to the DJ that had the strangest mashups but, after all the wine, seemed to be works of art. I also got to see that my brother could add another terrific genetic trait, that again skipped me, to the list. On top of getting the height, fast metabolism and piano player fingers, he gets to add 'sweet dance moves'. I never knew the kid could dance. When I dance I look like I am seizing and swatting at flies at the same time.
Because the 75+lb pup sleeps in the middle of the Mr. and I every night, my body has been a little stiff lately. I had never experienced back pain before and had always considered myself lucky. Suddenly 30 hit and so did the aches and pains that I had bragged about dodging. I had outsmarted them. They found me.
It had been in my head to get a massage for a few weeks now. Every time I had convinced myself to get one, guilt set in at the potential splurge and the price that goes along with it. The other day I had passed by the Angel Relax Center in town and posted above the door was a huge banner that read 'Massage $19.99', I thought 'eh, why not?'
I thought I would play it safe and get only a pressure point massage. Although my sense of humor runs on the grossly inappropriate side, my sensibilities are that of a nun (at least when I am sober). With a pressure point massage, I was hoping to keep my clothes on. I called, booked my appointment, told them what I wanted and set it for 6:00 after work.
When I got there a different man was sitting at the desk. I told him I was there for my appointment and he stared at me blankly. I told him I was there for a 30 minute pressure point massage, again he stared at me blankly. After a few minutes of this he led to a room after silently convincing me to pay for a 45 minute full body massage. Fine. Whatever.
I disrobed, put a short towel on and waited. During my wait I looked above me and thought, 'What a strange place for curtain rods?' I couldn't make sense why they ran lengthwise in the middle of the room and were about a foot apart. I would soon find out.
'Sw' (pronounced 'Sue', her spelling, not mine) came into the room and instructed me to lay face down on the bed. No sooner had I put my head in that toilet seat looking thing and Sw's hands were all over me. No hand holding, no soothing voice, just strait business. Well, ok. If I paying for 45 minutes I suppose I want to get my money's worth. Sw worked fast, too fast. It was more painful than relaxing but again I compromised with myself and thought, 'I just want my back to feel better'. Here are the highlights of how the rest of the appointment played out:
-The phone rings, in the room! Sw answers it! Now I don't feel so bad about the silent receptionist not understanding that I had wanted cash back for tip.
-Sw's hands leave me and suddenly I realize what those bars were for. She needed something to grab onto to steady herself. Feet! Feet were on me! Walking up my legs, heels digging into my butt. standing on my back....all over me. I was appalled at first, only because I wasn't at all expecting it. After a few minutes though, I started to loosen up and enjoy it. (Don't judge me!)
-At this point I thought the massage was over and started to get up. Sw gently pushed me back on the bed and somehow convinced me to commit to the full hour for an additional $10. I was too scared to say no.
-She holds two separate conversations over the wall with the other employees in the parlor (is that even the right word for it?). Again too scared to say anything, hoping they weren't talking about me.
-She has me turn over and as modest as I tried to be, everything ended up showing as she grunted her way through some of the more grueling moves of the massage.
-Again, I think the massage is over and she whispers to me 'Oh no, baby oil' What the???
-She pours baby oil all over my backside...all over! I am beyond mortified at this point.
-After cleaning me up with hot towels (that felt so good, by the way) the massage was FINALLY over.
I walked up to the counter and Sw helped the receptionist understand that I needed to pay for the additional time. I also let her know to add more for her tip. She gave me a glass of water, her card with her name 'Sw', a squeal and a great big hug.
I walked out of there, water in hand, not fully understanding what had just happened. Not fully convinced that some of what happened wasn't illegal. I called my mom for a voice of reason (after calling G begging him to answer the phone). She had me on speaker phone with her coworker who, after I told the story, simply said, 'Oh yeah, that's what they usually do'.
Now that I am sitting in safety and comfort of my own home, I feel great. I might go back next month.
Needless to say, I know what I getting the Mr. for Christmas. Purely for the awkward entertainment.