Sunday, September 25, 2011


Overheard frequently in our household:

Cheez: Calm it down, Macaroni.

Me: Not my strong suit, Cheez.

I do not relax well. I can hike four miles each way to get to a beach, but I can't spend more than four minutes just lying down on the beach. Consider me the Prius of personality types. I'm not so much about the idling, more about the recharging.

Now that is what I call a hybrid

So while some people think weekends are for reposing, I think they are for imposing.

Imposing as many activities as I can onto the Mac and Cheez schedule (pronounce it shed-ule, it helps persuade the Canadian).

Yes, I can pack more into 24 hours than Kiefer Sutherland. And I do it without the use of split-screen.

Submitted for your consideration: Friday, September 23rd-Saturday, September 24th:

First, Mac and Cheez bike up a volcano.

Not for any of the usual reasons one bikes up a volcano.

We bike up to attend what is billed as
A Quebecois House Dance and Party--Come and dance French-Canadian
quadrilles, squares, the Lancers, and other participatory dances at a
traditional Quebecois house party called by Seattle's Suzanne Girardot. These dances are similar to American square dances, but they have their own unique Quebecois style and interesting twist to the dance. Please bring potluck snacks and drinks to share. The dance is free, but tips are happily accepted.

We do not know a damn thing about Quebecois music, nor do we know the host of the house party. But I do know that dragging Cheez onto a dance floor to dance dances neither of know is exactly my idea of a good time.

Plus also we do sorta know the fiddler player, a nice Jewish girl from nowhere near Quebec who is so amazing at Quebecois fiddling that (according to my friend Mr. Internet) she played in Quebec's internationally renowned traditional supergroup La Bottine Souriante.

So we dance. We bike home (without peddling--a distinct advantage of living at the bottom of a volcano). We sleep. Mostly Cheez sleeps. I'm a macaroninsomniac, so I get up early, write for a while, and then waylay Cheez as he is about to start shaving so we can try playing Jolene as an accordion-banjo duet.

Why, you may be wondering, would I waylay Cheez as he is about to start shaving so we can try playing Jolene as an accordion-banjo duet?

Because Jolene has only three chords. Whereas Here You Come Again has damn near to a dozen. Which makes Jolene a much better place for us to start, in our quest to form Parton Me, the world's greatest banjo-accodion Dolly Parton cover band (as I hope my friend Mr. Internet will one day proclaim us to be).

Then we go to a house party to hear a band.

This time, there is no fiddler. But we do know the lead singer. She works with our backyard neighbor, who is hosting the party. So instead of biking up a volcano, we stroll through the gate between our yards. Which is about as arduous as volcano biking, given that it involves walking through enough spider webs to take down Peter Parker, Miss Muffet, and Wilbur the Pig.

The neighbor and the singer and most of the guests all work "in social justice." So it's the kind of house party that starts at 11 am and involves a potluck wherein items have labels such as Gluten Free Waffles (contains eggs--s☹rry vegans).

We eat. We groove to the band. We're back home by 2 pm.

Just in time for a craft project.

Because after a summer of staring at the bare-bulb-and-ceiling-fan in our bedroom, wondering if there is anyway to make a ceiling fan not the most aesthetically awful thing imaginable, we come up with . . .
Furry lamp shade! We happen to have all the ingredients (wire, thread, fake fur) on hand, so we get Project Runwacko is wrapped up by 5 pm.

Which leaves me just 7 more hours of Saturday to cram with activity.

How about we, you know, RELAX? Cheez pleads.

Luckily, before I can even answer--and by answer I mean defeat any possible hope he has of getting me to sit still--Little Lord Portleroy phones to ask if we want to go see a band. Because his friend Paige's friend Nick is in town with his band, and Paige has a couple extra tickets if we want to go.

Paige's friend Nick, it is worth mentioning, is Nick Rhodes.

We barely have time to pick out our best 80s outfits (me: purple rose-patterned Betsey Johnson dress, houndstooth jacket and houndstooth stockings, purple cowboy boots; Cheez: basic black with white leather tie, and two-tone black and white Doc Martens), go to a dinner party, and then head to the Rose Garden for our sixth-row seats to the ultimate 80s flashback.

Not that we can sit. Who can sit when Simon Le Bon is convincing me that despite having eaten my way through three parties in the past 20 hours, I am in fact hungry like the wolf?

Paige doles out VIP passes, which means after the show we get to hangout backstage.

Like Quebecois quadrilles, hanging out backstage with the prettiest band ever

(sorry, The Go-Gos . . . maybe if you'd worn as much makeup as Duran Duran, you could have been just as pretty)

is a new one for Mac and Cheez, but we rise to the occasion in true M&C form:

  • Nick tells me and Cheez and Sarah Dougher that we have cool glasses.
  • Cheez tells Nick Rhodes he's covered Rio on the banjo.
  • Nick and Cheez discuss how Roxy Music's More Than This rips off a riff from Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, while I scour the catering spread looking for chocolate (futilely, as it turns out; I begin to wonder if maybe The Go-Gos would have more girlcentric snacks).
Yes, we party like it's only 12 years after 1999.

Meaning, everyone who was cool in the 80s is now in their 40s, if not their 50s. By midnight, we've cleared the coliseum and are headed home.

The highlight of the whole circadian cycle? Probably the point during Wild Boys at which Nick, Simon, etal. segued into a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Turns out, I *can* RELAX.

If RELAX involves a throbbing beat, a full synth-pop band, and dancing in the aisles.