i was disturbed to find them standing out in the heat when i swung by to pick them up. didn't they know that mr ellis would wait until i was ready to walk out the door to decide he needed a shower and the children shouldn't be wandering free during that process?
i brought the two ladies back home with me and let adrienne into my inner chambers for the first time. she saw my children. in real life and not through the internet window. she had thankfully expressed an interest in visiting one of our many two lush stores and there just happens to be one right down the street from me, so i packed up peanut butter sandwiches and we loaded into every single two cars that we have and followed each other parade-style all the way to northpark mall. we left brian and the kids looking at the fountain and headed on around the corner. it didn't take long for lush to scare robin off. at first, i thought they had both ditched me in there. and then i saw adrienne in the bath bomb section, staving off the intimidation of the multitudinous bins. she eventually settled on the fanciful gift tin. a good call. she can use up the bath bombs in a frenzy of foamy, perfumed bathing and then use the tin to hold print outs of all the snap shots she took in dallas. it turns out we are deodorant twins and she even let this boy luxuriate on her arm with a buffy the backside slayer bar. she purchased it. i mean, that's how they get you. are you going to let someone wet your arm, rub a product on it, slough off your dead skin with their own two bare stranger hands for not much more than minimum wage and then not buy the buffy the backside slayer bar? of course you're not.
we arrived back in the non-lush world to find the remainder of our party peering into the fanciful, modern windows of playhouses up for raffle. they love to do this at northpark. always with the raffledy, locked up, teaser playhouses. and these were particularly awesome. i was ready to move into one. one of them had mason jars of tinted water with giant rubber bugs inside and a floor filled with those tiny robot bugs. YOU WOULD ALSO GET ALL THE STUFF INSIDE.
oliver started complaining about hunger like he was an ethiopian preschooler from the 80s and we sped up and past the toddler-oriented cactii and on to the duck and turtle pond. i put oliver on a bench and fed him something crunchy and filled with carbohydrates. he continued to wax hungry past the motorized hammering statues and we finally made it down the escalators at dillard's where he made a pretty big show of wanting to open the door on his own and we stood outside and let the door shut and i think he pushed it really hard, or something, and it bounced back and pounded him on the forehead, wounding both his noggin and his pride. brian said he was a mess for a good while after that.
we decided we didn't need a full lunch, despite the lack of popularity of the lincoln hyatt full breakfast buffet. and so i took us on down to the murray street coffee shop in deep ellum. there was cinnamon tea cake there. other people went and ordered lunch after all. oliver showed up upstairs with the biggest cup of orange juice i think i've ever seen. the little people sandwiched, too.
brian went on a driving nap while i drove us past pioneer park and completely did not go four blocks down the road to drive us past the book depository so adrienne and robin could fall down in the street on the X and let me take their photo while cars whizzed past. if only i had that to do over again.
someone made an executive decision in there somewhere and we wound up at the new lula b's. i resisted urges and then i saw one of those mid-century booster seats. the ones that are like a fiberglass shell on paper clip legs and it was only $25 and i wrassled with my inner selves over awesomeness versus practicality and home space and there was a big tie and so we texted photos to brian and made him decide and the next thing you know, he's saying yes and i'm seeing a pregnant lady walking around and i foot race a little back to that booth and see some other ladies standing in front of it and i act like i'm invisible as i scoot it out from in front of them and deposit it at the front desk.
we kept losing track of robin. i couldn't figure out what her shopping strategy is. it didn't seem to follow a flow chart, but i reckon she has some kind of out of the box system worked up from hours earned in the goodwill madness. so, i kept bumping into adrienne and semi-following her around and robin would dive bomb us out of the blue on rare occasion before completely disappearing again. we found this lovely western belt with ROBIN hand-tooled right there on it and it might as well have had her last name and middle initial on it, it seemed to be screaming so loudly for her. but it still lives at the store. her purchase of the avocado green lucite tray made more sense.
adrienne went off and bought that chair. i felt guilty. everyone was so worked up about me driving to the airport here and there that i think she felt she had to.
once we got back out to brian's car, i popped the trunk and lo, the fake ham was sitting back there. that ham. brian claims it started it's life as an office celebrity and he eventually found himself in ownership of it. over the past couple of years, that ham will just pop up at my house like an uninvited dinner guest. i'll sit there and watch my veganish children poke at it. it will return to work. well, this particular trip home was because brian workspace was being converted from a cube to some kind of community table bullshit and that left no place for his ham or his baby doll diorama or his animal collection or his playmobil toys, etc. it all came home. we struck a deal that the ham would move on. and then, there was robin, looking down into the trunk at that ham. becoming unduly smitten. and i thought this was my chance to pass it on to a good home without guilt. AND SHE TOTALLY BOUGHT IT. i mean, she didn't pay for a free fake ham. she just bought into taking that thing on a plane to seattle.
believe it or not, we decided we needed MORE COFFEE. adrienne had decided their trip should be a livejournal land trip, which meant i took a really long and accidentally convoluted drive to the starbucks where oliver gets his apple juice. this worked out well, as we managed to drive right by the cross fit dallas location and i pressed my brake and offered up my trunk for rear ending hoping adrienne could get a shot of it with her camera phone.
we all had swollen bladders so we went inside and one of the baristas said, "i never see you in here," while adrienne urinated or defecated all over the toilet on the other side of the wall. then it was my turn. while robin was cleaning up after us, we went outside with our drinks and sat on the rather disenchanting sidewalk/patio. i forgot to mention the sky was dreadful looking with a blanket of dreary cloudy haze across it. it reduced our exposure to radiation and heat stroke while we sat there. robin emerged to tell us she had gone into the bathroom and proceeded to menstruate mere millimeters from the exterior of her white shorts. it was exceptionally brave of her. adrienne gave her a feminine product but she did not give her an insertion device, so robin went into the bathroom two layers of sheetrock away from my barista and chugged an OB. and then she wore the he-man finger puppet to try and get our minds off it. or to hyper-focus our minds right on it.
since we were on a roll, we went over to dolly python and it had expanded a bit since robin had been there last. it seems to have a lot more to look at these days. adrienne purchased an old booklet on how to become a ventriloquist and a copy of prudence and the pill.
back home we went. i forced people to eat guacamole. guacamole that had violet spit in it. oliver prepared and distributed a rock taping work to all of us. there was a lot of block building in there somewhere. we harrassed robin endlessly about where she would want to go to dinner, as opposed to somewhere that would be fine to go to dinner. adrienne was wanting ethiopian, but worried robin wasn't being honest about the fineness of ethiopian food. so we traded it in for hare krishna food at kalachandji's (which fit in well with the lj land tour), and i'm thinking that might have just been a lateral move on the robin palate. but you won't catch me saying no to kalachandji's. surprisingly, brian and the kids ditched us for freebird's.
i once again managed to take us on a very goofed up route and boy was i turned around for a second there. robin said it looked just like where they film some cop show in dallas, maybe it was 48 hours, and i bet she wasn't far off on that one and then i challenged her gps app to a race. i think i won, but only because the other team didn't show.
we were too late to get a prized table in the courtyard and settled for a corner booth near the buffet line. there was a man at the booth across from us that i was convinced was listening to every word of our conversation buffet of yoga, religion, out of body experiences, deathly premonitions, and i don't know what all else. and he was replaced by another man who made a very loud and very guttural noise that sent robin and adrienne into wild and extended school girl titters while i tried to act like there had been absolutely no guttural or tittering noises made anywhere near me. i left to try and get back in the buffet line (didn't happen) and i returned to more tittering. FROM THE SAME ORIGINAL NOISE.
adrienne really like the tamarind cooler. i tried to get the recipe for her from the gift shop lady, but she didn't have it (i had successfully done this once before with another friend). adrienne found some earrings and i purchased them as punishment for her purchasing that booster seat. robin found a necklace to compliment her cleavage. i found a stack of super cheap bangles and three colored wooden hare krishna icon bracelets i knew the children would lose around the house within 36 hours. and they did.
we went outside and climbed all over this pretty little shrine they have in the lot next door, like a pack of tourists lacking any couth, but wanting a fantastic photo. we got some! i can't go back to that place without a disguise.
by this point, robin was slurping through adrienne's OB and we went back to the hotel for freshening up. the ham was there. the end of it had split open like a toxic mouth. i managed to have no end of fun spinning it on my finger tip and giving it burrito foil eyes and making it talk and sing songs. i laughed so hard, i thought it was the liquor talking, but we hadn't had any drinks. YET. robin came out of the bathroom and it was like walking into one of those had-to-be-there kind of jokes, i imagine. adrienne had her phone-camera out and everything.
anyway. after that, we really did need a drink or two and we went down to the meridian bar across from fair park. adrienne told us the best story about how she almost got killed or arrested three times on bourbon street, but she maintained her poise on this particular night. robin had two greyhounds and claimed she was sloshed. adrienne had two cherry limeades and i had two glasses of beer in this glass, which is rather unappetizing.
the barmaid nicknamed us grey, cherry, and piss? maybe it was blanche instead of piss. i forget now. but she nicknamed us.
we carried robin out to the car and i rolled their asses up to the front of the hotel and pushed them out without coming to a full stop.
playhouses. oliver was saying we should bust the lock off that green one.
this is my favorite photo of robin and adrienne. and, as i finally realized, me. by adrienne.