Monday, May 23, 2005

grab the funk...kick it out...repeat

Jon is well-known by his students and our circle of friends for his theory on dance. It's not something I could do justice by attempting to explain here because it is something you must see to believe. Something you must study to appreciate.

But let us suffice it to say that the general idea is about harnessing "the force" by "grabbing the funk and kicking it out." There is, of course, a special signature move that exemplifies this entire theory which he loves to demonstrate in class and, naturally, at dinner parties. Do you understand now why I'm so proud of him? I am obviously marrying the right dude.

But now, after chaperoning prom this weekend, Jon has added the following footnotes and observations to his age-old dancing theory:

1. Girls like to dance. Guys DON'T but they are left with absolutely no choice. They MUST dance if they want to be able to rub up against the girls.

2. Chaperoning high school dances could prove to be an excellent form of birth control. And I quote, "It is so painful to watch them try to dance. I never want to MAKE anyone who does that! I don't want to be responsible for creating anything capable of that awkwardness. We should come to more of these."

Posted by Poka Bean at 10:26 AM 1 comments

Friday, May 20, 2005

interview with a lopez

The chain-email questionnaire concept has made its inevitable entrance into the blogosphere. I should have seen this coming.

My apologies to those who find this annoying but I can't help it. I'm a sucker for these things. Does it make me narcissistic because I love the chance to answer questions about myself? It think it does, but I'm okay with that. Thank you, Carolyn, for including me in the fun...

1. How did you meet your soon-to-be husband?
'Tis a marvelous story but kind of long if you want to hear the full version. The short version is this: We were introduced by mutual friends two summers ago, we hung out with our group of mutual friends several times over the course of that summer but didn't go on our first date until the night before Jon drove back to Minnesota for an entire year. We knew there was something there worth pursuing, though, so after that one date we decided to stay together and see what happened. We dated long distance for that whole year before he moved back to California last August. We got engaged on Christmas Day, 2005.

Only 47 more days until the wedding, but it's not like I'm counting or anything.

2. What was your favorite childhood game?
Make believe. I lived in my head as a kid and spent the better part of my childhood wrapped up in my own imagination climbing the tree in our front yard and riding my bike around the neighborhood like I owned the place. Take a peek back in the Poka Bean archives and you shall see...I was a childhood nut job.

Oh, and does anyone remember that TV show Scarecrow & Mrs. King? I totally wanted to be Kate Jackson so I went around pretending to be Mrs. King a lot.

Spies + Romantic Tension = Alluring, Magical Duo That I Cannot Resist

This may explain why I love Alias so much as an adult.

3. What is your biggest fear?
This is a three-way tie between failure, losing a loved one, and getting my foot run over by a car. Or worse, a truck or SUV. I don't know why, but I'm convinced it's going to happen to me and it's going to suck.

4. Have you ever broken the law?
I suppose the answer is technically yes if you count the one speeding ticket to my name but I totally went to traffic school and isn't that supposed to scratch it from the record?

Otherwise, no. I'm a goodie goodie, also know by my friends as a Stick in the Mud. I have the world's strongest guilty conscience so I don't like to break the rules. The mental consequences are too much for me to bear. Guilt is anguish and is to be avoided at all cost.

The extent of my wild, rebellious side is the stud in my nose, the occassional disregard for my turn signal, and my recent decision to rage against the french manicure machine by deciding to wear clear nail polish to my wedding. HA! Take that! Who says you have to have a french manicure when you get married anyway? HOGWASH, I tell you. Not gonna do it.

5. Go-go boots or stilettos?
Stilettos, baby. But only on the rare ocassion I actually dress up and wear something other than flip flops, God's Perfect Shoe.

************************************
Want to play?
The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Posted by Poka Bean at 1:53 PM 4 comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

on like a prom dress

It's that time again. Time to don my finest threads, attempt to look older and much more authoritative than I really am (or really care to be), and put on my most intimidating face.

It's time to instruct America's wayward youth to leave room for the Holy Spirit. It's time to chaperone Prom.

When Jon and I last chaperoned one of his high school's dances, I struggled to find something appropriate to wear. I asked my sister, She Who Knows The Right Outfits For All Occasions, for guidance and she told me, "I think for a chaperone role, you are going to need to go slightly more conservative than usual. Like whereas normally an outfit for such an occasion might be 35% sassy hoochie and 65% good Christian girl, you may want to decrease the sassy hoochie percentage just a shade."

Precisely why I can count on her. Sage advice.

Well, having kept these immortal words in mind, I have succeeded in finding myself an appropriate dress to wear and can now move on to Step 2: focusing on and eagerly anticipating Friday night's action. See, this is no ordinary prom. This is a private Christian school's prom, a prom where the threat of banishment to the 10-minute Time Out Box for dirty, offensive dancing looms imminent. A threat menacing to freshmen and seniors alike.

And let me tell you, there is no better way to attend such an event than on the arm of the one and only Mr. Wallace, teacher and football coach to some of the school's naughtiest offenders. Master of bursting cool kids' bubbles. King of humbling the cocky and obnoxious. Ruler of the piercing look of disapproval and utter disappointment.

So I say, bring on those booty-shakin' moves, kids. Get skanky. Mr. Wallace is in town and I've got a front row seat.

STRIKE FIRST. STRIKE HARD. NO MERCY SIR!

Let the bloodshed begin.

Posted by Poka Bean at 11:27 AM 6 comments

Friday, May 06, 2005

a little something for my mom

I’ve spent a lot of time at my parents’ house over the last several months. I stay with them every time I drive to San Diego to visit Jon for the weekend since they live about 2 miles away from him.

Or they used to, at least. Seeing that Jon presently lives out of his truck, it’s hard to say the exact mileage that currently separates their dwelling places but this a topic for another time.

I absolutely love my parents. I always have. But over the last several years, I’ve grown to feel an additional sentiment towards them. Seems the older I get, the more I realize how much I LIKE them. And perhaps more specifically, how much I want to BE like them.

One day I will take the time to tell you all about my dad who, in my opinion, has the world’s most tender heart and can intelligibly converse about any conceivable topic on earth with the utmost humility and grace. Except maybe for the correct lyrics to the Stevie Nicks classic “Landslide” which he thought was about Boulder, Colorado up until quite recently…the result of a wee mix up with the “times make you bolder” line. And to this remark he would undoubtedly say, “Well, I may not know the lyrics, but what about the WORDS?” because in addition to being incredibly tender-hearted and intelligent, his third most notable characteristic is definitely his corny sense of humor and high tolerance for the tireless repetition of jokes that got old circa 1972. And that weren’t even funny back then. (Sorry, Dad.)

But today, I want to say a few things about my mom.

Now that I’m two months shy of becoming a wife, I find myself looking at her with new eyes. When I spend the weekend with them now, I am fixated by the seemingly effortless grace with which she keeps their house, and subsequently their lives, in order. I know it really is NOT effortless for her and that she works very hard, but her mastery of wife-y-ness makes the daunting, monotonous list of tasks look simple to eager and naïve wanna-bes like me.

I love to examine the contents of my mother’s refrigerator. While strange unknown moldy substances crawl to the back of mine to die, hers hasn’t seen an ounce a food go bad in its hallowed halls since, well, ever. She knows the right amount of fresh produce to buy so that they can consume all of it before it goes bad and dreams up creative things to make with the assortment of groceries she last purchased so that none go to waste. And don’t get me started on her freezer. Sweet Moses! It’s a vision of labeling and organization and she can make every ingredient stored in its dark cavernous recesses come back to life with her cooking. Her yummy, yummy cooking.

I love to marvel over her linen closet. She knows the perfect way to fold every last sheet and towel and tablecloth so that they all fit perfectly into the allotted space. None are squished or askew. All are easily accessible and smell fresh.

I love to look through her cookbooks. Recipes she’s tried are marked up with comments on the outcome, ideas for ways to make it even better the next time, things she substituted or added, and sometimes the name of the person in our family who especially liked it. She can find a brand new delicious recipe seemingly out of thin air and make it for the first time for a big holiday dinner and it always comes out amazing. Like she’s been practicing it and perfecting it her whole life.

I love that she cleans her kitchen sink every night after the dishes have been done (which, by the way, my dad often does himself…let me not mislead you with all this praise of my mother to think he doesn’t pitch in around the house.) I used to HATE that she would make us do this EVERY night and thought it was so unnecessary…can’t you just clean it every couple of days? I would roll my eyes when she would say, “Girls, if you just do a little at a time to keep up on things, then you don’t have to BUST on them later.” I would snicker. “Bust” on them. What does that even mean? Yeah, well that’s why my kitchen sink always looks the way it does. I don’t clean it every night. I don’t even clean it every couple of days. I tolerate it as long as possible and then sure enough, I have to BUST on it, just like Mom said.

I love my mother’s pantry and how it’s always fully stocked. She can whip up any tomato sauce, chicken broth, or cream of mushroom soup-based dinner at the drop of a hat, and in large enough quantity to feed the local high school football team.

I love to watch her ironing technique, her methodical motions that make the most of each stroke. And I love that she irons often and dutifully even though it is her MOST DESPISED CHORE so that my dad has wrinkle-free clothes to wear to work.

I love that she knows the perfect comfort food to bring to a family with a brand new baby, the names of plants and the right way to care for them, how to pick a good melon, the way to get out any stain, the correct spelling of words like subpoena and hors d’oeuvres, the difference in cuts of meat and the right ones to select for pot roast or grilling or never eating at all because they’re way too fatty and not good for Dad’s heart.

I want to know…WHEN do you get all this wife-y knowledge? Logic tells me you must learn it along the way – by trial and error – but my gut says that wives and mothers as good as my mom JUST KNOW. They are born knowing. They have God-given instinct. They are intrinsically wired for domestic greatness. They don’t join the club, they ARE the club.

Well whatever or however, I want in.

I want to KNOW like my mom does. I want to be around her and soak it up. I want to watch her and learn. I want to be a fraction of how great she is, how loving, how selfless, how clever, how organized, how efficient.

I want to grow up enough to be able to lovingly serve my husband and family the way that she does: WILLINGLY. Even when she can’t bear to unload the dishwasher ONE MORE TIME. Even when she doesn’t get home from work until after 7pm and she still has to make dinner. Even when she would sooner prefer to drop the hot iron on her foot than use it to press one more dress shirt. Even when she just doesn’t have the energy.

Even when there is nothing in it for her.

You might think it's pretty grown up of me to finally recognize and appreciate all of her efforts and the sacrifices she’s made, but no. I’ll be truly grown up when I’m able to make them myself.

God help me. I'm a long way off.

So Mom, with Mother’s Day around the corner and all of this on my heart, this is what I want you to know:

I want to be just like you. The measure of success in my life will be how closely I can model your example.

I am praying for a miracle of mother-daughter Wife Osmosis.

Posted by Poka Bean at 9:46 AM 2 comments