Saturday, October 25, 2008

Girls Weekend Out

So I guess I've kind of fallen off the blogosphere... something about trying to be a responsible housekeeper.... But since I've established that not writing on my blog does not mean that my house looks pristine and my laundry is perpetually in neatly folded stacks where it belongs, I might as well catch up.

Last weekend was my big girls weekend out. Time Out For Women came to Portland and a bunch of ladies I knew were going. I'd been once before and it was good, but I will admit that my main reason for going was just to have a chance to hang out with the girls, have a break from household responsibilities, and recharge. There was a Friday evening session and then it was Saturday all day, so I organized getting a hotel in Portland for a bunch of us to stay overnight and make a weekend of it. This had been planned for over a month, when only a few days before, "Surprise!!"- Dave got called out of town at the last minute on a business trip to Japan. This could have been disastrous, but I found someone to trade with to watch my kids while Dave was gone (thanks SuziePetunia!).

We left on Friday afternoon and drove up to Portland to get dinner. We ended up going to Happy Hour at The Melting Pot. I suppose you could find it ironic that I was going to Time Out for Women and began the weekend by hanging out with all of my good LDS friends at a bar. =] I'm sure the bartender was a little bit bummed (with his expected tip) when none of us got alcohol, but we tried to compensate by tipping really well. It was an AMAZING deal. The Melting Pot is normally $90 for a couple. If you go to Happy Hour, you can get a pot of cheese fondue for $10 or Spinach Artichoke Fondue in a bread bowl for $5 and all of their salads are $3. Plus, they had great Strawberry Basil Lemonade. It made up for the fact that they were short on seats and two of us had to eat standing up.

We raced over to the TOFW seminar and got there a few minutes late. The speaker was OK, but I basically spent her whole talk doodling notes to myself about random topics and trying to decide what the difference is as a parent between inappropriate control and "teaching correct principles." I think everyone thought I was furiously note-taking until they noticed that my note-taking was just as furious during the song.

Afterward we went out to dessert at Pix Patisserie-- my favorite pastry shop. If you ever visit Portland you have to go-- the desserts there are truly works of art. I had only ever been during the day. It turns out that it transforms at night from a quiet take-out shop into a packed, happening dessert restaurant with open windows and an entirely open wall. Everyone got different stuff and we all traded bites. My favorites are the Shazam! (a towering chocolate creation filled with caramel mousse) and the Queen of Sheba (a dark chocolate, almond flavored torte with a moist, melted center and ice cream on top-- basically amazing).

When we got back to the hotel I was a bit hungry and there was a Wendy's next door that was open until 2:00, so two other girls and I went to get a snack. This would have been perfect except that, as it turns out, only the drive-through window was open that late and the drive-through does not allow people on foot to order. Not to be deterred from my greasy food fix, I flagged down the next person to drive up to the drive-through (a guy in a red truck), handed him a $5 bill and asked if he would order 3 jr. bacon cheeseburgers and some fries for us. After giving us a funny look, he very kindly obliged us and we happily had our midnight snack.

The Saturday session had a few good presenters and a few OK to marginal ones. I didn't realize how hard it would be for me to sit for so long without getting antsy. I guess I'm used to always having a fidgeting/flailing/thrashing baby on my lap. (When was the last time when I sat still for more than one hour at a time?)

There were long segments that were performances by LDS pop artists. I have never been a big fan of LDS pop, so I used advantageously used this time to either pass notes or have whispered conversations with friends. It's kind of awkward at LDS pop performances, because stylistically it feels like you should get up and sway holding up your cell phone, but everyone sits there reverently and then claps uncertainly at the end (like "Is this like I'm clapping after a musical number at church?"). I spent the entire performance of an LDS artist who shall remain unnamed (OK, his name starts with a K and ends with "enneth Cope") passing notes to Ranell. I wasn't trying to be rude, he actually has a good voice, but it's just not really my cup of tea. It made it harder that every single song follows the same basic formula (which I outlined in a note to Ranell):
  • Tell random spiritual story.
  • Segue into song.
  • Sing song.
  • Add a random spiritual thought during the interlude.
  • Keep singing song, adding a few firm head nods for emphasis.
  • Look into the distance as the song ends, as if you are having your own quiet moment with the divine.
  • Try to visibly suppress a few tears, if possible.
This wouldn't have been so very funny, except as soon as I passed the note to Ranell he did every single one of the things as outlined, almost as if on cue. We had to try really hard not to burst out laughing. Luckily it happened right at the end of his performance and time for the break so we could finally let it out and laugh.

I spent the last hour or so of Saturday giving up on trying to sit through the musical numbers altogether and just browsing the books in the back. I decided I would rather just poke around and read and it was supposed to be "time out" for me, right?

All too soon it was over-- we were on our way home and I was picking up the kids. Jared talked me into a movie night, so the kids and I popped popcorn, ate Skittles and watched Shrek 2.


Jadie said...

You and Ranell are very naughty. I'm shocked...just shocked! :) Glad you had so much fun. We mom's need that every once in awhile!

Jadie said...

PS: I can't believe you flagged that guy down! You go, k-kid!

Suzie Petunia said...

I have a hard time with the cheese-factor around LDS pop artists, too. Definitely formulaic. But it sounds like you had a blast anyway! :) I'm glad!

Greek Goddess said...

Okay, I shouldn't have been reading this entry on fast Sunday. That food sounds so good right now. I love chocolate fondue.