Tag Archives: parties

getting the boot

12 Jan

Have you heard of the boot? Encountered one for yourself?

No? A quick primer, then.

The first time I tried to encounter a boot was a failure. I was in Iowa, at some bar, with my good friend RHW. We’d just come from the Iowa State Fair, having consumed hefty quantities of fried foods on sticks, along with lemon and strawberry shakeups that we’d spiked with airplane bottles of vodka we’d smuggled in via our pants. (Or in my case, my bra.) But the bar didn’t serve boots after 11 pm, and it was 11:15 when we arrived.

Bootless, we left.

Fast-forward to New Year’s Eve 2009. The Swede and I, then together only a couple short months, attend the annual New Year’s Eve party of Mare and Doug, my best gal and her husband.

Along comes midnight. I smooch The Swede, and he smooches me back, because that’s how you ring in the new year.

And then along comes the boot. Which is apparently the other way you ring in the new year.

One of the hoodlums at the party put the boot on the bar and began filling. First one, then two, then finally tapping out at about five bottles worth of beer, an inch of foamy head giving a hiking sock-like appearance to the shaft of the boot.

(Haaa….I said shaft!)

Someone—I’m not sure which of the hoodlums loitering in Mare and Doug’s basement initiated it—hoisted the boot, took a sip, and started it round the room. It got passed around and passed around to much shouting and hollering until the last drop was gone. A collective cheer went up when it was finished, the guy who polished off the beer grinning triumphantly.

And then someone else—again, which hoodlum was it? My guess is probably Doug, instigator galore—filled the boot up again. Hoist and pass, hoist and pass, the boot made its way around the circle of newfound and old friends. It started coming around a second time, and when it got to The Swede, the beer that was left in it hit at just above the ankle line of the boot.

The Swede paused, then palmed the boot and just fucking went for it.

Back, back, back his head tilted, and down, down, down went a quart of beer in less than a minute.

In the background, the hoodlums cheered and hollered for The Swede, Doug’s voice rising above the rest, “Yeah! Drink it! Drink the boot! Finish the boot! Smash the boot against the floor!” At which point I grabbed the now empty boot from The Swede’s hands as he stood there smiling, and carefully placed the glass boot on the bar, thinking to myself, “You’d better not smash that goddamned boot or we will never fucking be invited back here again!” A roar from the hoodlum crowd went up and congratulatory pats on the back were doled out to The Swede for his boot-chugging abilities.

Twenty minutes later he announced that he thought it’d probably be a good idea if he went to bed.

The next morning, his first words of the new year were spoken very somberly and seriously: “Baby. I love you. I do not love that boot.”

This year we went back to Mare and Doug’s for New Year’s Eve.

This year, there seemed to be fewer hoodlums loitering in the basement.

This year the boot came out again.

This year, they eyed each other warily, The Swede and the boot. The Swede sipped cautiously, taking large swigs, yes, but passing the boot on for another hoodlum to finish.

The Swede, he still loves me.

He still does not, however, love the boot.



charm school

11 Oct

Some time ago (August? Maybe? Sometimes the days all run together for This Girl. Am delirious!) my sweet friend Panda invited me to come with her to the Best of Baltimore event. You all know my love for Baltimore, and Panda has played a huge part in fostering that love. Plus, there were going to be enormous amounts of free food. And swag bags. Needless to say, I gave myself a high five and said yes, I’d be there with bells on.  Or white pants. Whatever.

It was crowded, as events like this tend to be, and Panda and I quickly realized that we were among the few there who weren’t there to be seen or to network, we were there to motherfucking eat. We did not don our prettiest pink party dresses, we did not strap on our highest heels and totter around the Hippodrome, our eyes scanning the room for eligible bachelors, and we had not run home from work to straighten our hair and apply another coat of lip gloss before heading out. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) (You know I’m just bitter because I can’t wear lip gloss anymore.) If our eyes were scanning the room, it was to see where the next food booth was, and we wore flats for better stability while balancing our bags and cameras and not toppling over on someone while winding our way through the crowd. And for the record, it’s not like we’d dressed as schlubs, we both looked very nice, and I had, in fact, done my hair up all pretty earlier that morning. I did it all for you, Cover Girl free samples, all for you.

You’ve got to admire the girls who can go out there and totter around for 4 hours in heels and tight dresses at a food event. Admire them and find them a bit stupid on the one hand, but at least they have stamina and the drive to take risks.

Not that wearing heels is very risky.

Unless maybe beef tenderloin is involved.

Later in the night, as Panda and I were huddled by the bar, anxiously awaiting ice water (because hey, salty food, how are you today?) from the bartender, I wandered away from our conversation in mid-sentence and headed toward a small clutch of girls in pretty dresses and very lovely heels, because something was a bit off. I stared at one of the girls’ shoes intently before I stepped carefully up behind her and stuck the toe of my shoe at the base of her heel.

The other girls in the group eyeballed me oddly, and I managed to stammer out to the girl I was hovering behind, “I’m sorry, you seemed to have…speared a…a piece of beef tenderloin…with your heel.”

The girl turned around, confused, as I pressed the toe of my shoe on the meat. “I’m just…gonna get that for you,” I said. The girl lifted her heel slightly and I slid the piece of beef off her heel, brushing it away from the group with my foot. I nodded my head and looked away as the girl and her friends giggled nervously, slightly embarrassed.

I wanted to tell them that it happens to the best of us. But actually, spearing a piece of meat with a high heel is, quite surprisingly, not something I’ve ever done.

Give me time, though.

After we’d stuffed ourselves on multiple offerings, which for This Girl included not only tuna ceviche

but also an oyster,

Blurry, but that right there is proof!

and some very elegant-looking chocolate things


—Panda  and I were hanging out in the VIP lounge (because that’s how we roll) (riiiight) when Panda turned to me.

“That’s the mayor over there,” she said, pointing to a young woman, stylishly dressed, flanked by hangers-on.

“Really?” I asked.

“Yes,” Panda replied. “She smells a-may-zing.”

“Really?” I repeated.


Who knew? Apparently Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wears a very distinct perfume, not overpowering, just distinct, and as such, you always know when she’s around. You’ll smell her before you see her.  In a good way.

We edged closer to the mayor, but unfortunately it wasn’t close enough to smell her. So we continued about our business, fighting for space in our stomachs to fit more food, weaving our way through the crowds and praying that we didn’t spill anything on anyone. (Or, okay, that’s at least what I was praying for.)

We’d wound our way to the top floor and started working our way back down, satisfied that we’d completed the offerings on each level, when we found ourselves heading down a staircase right behind the mayor and her bodyguards. As we got to the bottom, Panda, in front of me, suddenly called out, “Mayor!”

The mayor turned around. She looked at Panda expectantly.

“You smell awesome,” Panda said, her voice belying a hint of reverence, but dominated by matter-of-factness.

“Thanks,” the mayor said, nodding her head. “It’s all that showering I’ve been doing. It’s really working for me.” She smiled and turned around, heading back into the throngs of her Baltimoreans.

brilliant monkey

5 Aug

Pirate MonkeySo as I may have mentioned, Sister #1 is due with Baby #1 this October. Last weekend we threw her a baby shower, and months ago, when we were in planning stages, I announced that I would make cupcakes for the dessert portion.

“What kind of cupcakes do you like?” I asked.

“I like vanilla bean cake…with vanilla bean frosting,” Sister #1 responded after a moment. And then she sort of drifted off, and I pictured her staring dreamily into space as she continued in a spacey voice, “And I like monkeys….and pirates….”

To which I was all, “Um, okay, I’m not really sure how that fits in with cupcakes.”

So the above is the best I could do.* It’s not a monkey pirate cupcake, but it is much, much cuter. And won’t be all moldy by the time the baby gets here.

*Thanks again to Cassie, who is the one who actually made the sock monkey pirate. You can find more of her awesome creations here.