Sunday, July 26, 2009

better angels

Recently, I've been thinking about the nature of friendship.

On what kind of friend I've been (sometimes good, sometimes not so good), what friendships I've fostered or been fostered by, the different types of friends that float in and out of my life and the ones that have been stalwart and sure for decades.

A big part of my identity has always been based in my self perception of "friend."

Much of what I consider to be good in my life is based not on my intelligence, experience or humor...but in the intelligence, experience and humor shared and discovered with my friends.

Tonight, as I kicked back with a group of folks I would likely go to the ends of the earth for, I told an old chestnut of a long-running joke about one of my oldest and dearest friends who was present. After the laughter died down and most of the crowd left us alone, I asked him if he ever got mad at me for some stupid thing I say or did. He thought about it for a moment and said no. (Which I think has a little more to do with him being such a laid back and easy going fella and less to do with my loud mouth.)

It made me consider the times I've been a good friend and other times when I've been kind of a louse and my very good fortune of having friends willing to put up with the louse-y parts of my personality to enjoy what might be my better angels.

Then I saw this video and I'm amazed by how much it says (and so simply) how much I wish I could go back and undo all the silly, stupid things I may have done or said to my friends (and even folks that just crossed my path at the wrong moment) who I might have injured - even on the smallest level.

I suppose this is an unofficial declaration of my rededication to the friendships in my world - of all shapes and sizes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

taking the Bee back

As a post-modern-modern woman, I'm a big believer that there are some things worth "taking back." Not only to honor what they historically represent, but embracing what those representations mean today and applying them to our everyday lives.

In days of olde, women gathered for quilting bees and sewing bees - ever the productive and efficient gender.

When reviewing our skill sets and our need to take a break from both bringing home the bacon and also frying it up in a pan, our ladies auxiliary went for an event more social than utilitarian.

We decided to hold a Tequila Bee.

I'm not a big drinker these days.
I'm what you would call the "occasional imbiber."

It should be stated that, more times than not, if I feel like putting my drinking cap on or attempt to relive my rowdy 20's, I normally have to Plan. That. Shit. Out.

I believe the equation is that for every 1 hour I drink, I need 5 hours of recovery time.

Even after doing the math, I was highly anticipating the chance to throw a few back with friends and letting my brain float away on a wash of fermentation, come what may. Friday was such a day.

A few of the ladies gathered on a friend's back porch. Reminiscent of a pot-luck, we each brought something to the table.

I showed up with the Tequila (two kinds), limes and a double batch of fresh guacamole. B picked up the chips, salsa, fancy cookies and the Triple Sec. J brought some tasty mini-tacos a la Trader Joe's (damn. TJ's has some tasty hors devours!) And K made some of her home brewed sour mix especially for the occasion.

It was the perfect weather to just sit on the porch and swim around in Margaritaville. We people watched (the porch has a bird's eye view of an el platform), regaled each other with saucy tales and just plain relaxed our minds and bodies.

While we didn't walk away with a Friendship Ring quilt or husk any corn, I think that we lived up to the true nature of a "bee" and accomplished a productive task that drew us together as friends and neighbors.

We got stewed.

In fact, we had such a delightful time, we're already planning another for later this summer...and I wouldn't be surprised if a Martini Bee doesn't pop up in the fall.

While a huge party of friendly folk is nice, a small cadre of companions is sometimes a better balm to soothe the beastie within.

My recommendation to you (whether or not you have alcohol on hand) is an afternoon spent on a back porch with a small group of friends telling stories and making each other laugh.

Although, I really would recommend the liquor.

On a specific note, while the standard José Cuervo Gold is fine for mixing, do yourself a proper and get a better quality tequila for doing shots. We went with José Cuervo Black Medallion (aged for more than one year in oak casks) and baby, that was some smooth agave for anyone on a budget.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

slowly i turn

Yeah. I've been gone.
Yeah. I'm back.
Yeah. My brain is slowly recovering from a slight bout of heat stroke.

Until I'm back in the proverbial saddle, I'll give you this...which puts a smile on my face and makes me dance in my seat until I get up and shake what my mama gave me.


The gentleman in the video is Jim Slonina, currently a clown with Cirque du Soleil and former member of the brilliant (now defunct) Defiant Theater company here in Chicago.