Valentine’s Day gets a lot of shit for being a forced timed of romantic gesture, so why exactly does Thanksgiving get away with sporting an attitude of gratitude?  Answers are short on me because I like them both…….well…..I like Thanksgiving much much more, but somehow it feels like saying I like one pet better than another.  I do that too!  Come on, one is a fish!

Here we are.  Another Thanksgiving.  I adore this holiday because it’s a time where you don’t prove your love or repent your sins or itch with the burden of credit card debt, you simply stuff your face after hours of labored cooking from typically one person Mom and then say I’m so thankful for……

You do not come to the Thanksgiving day table and bitch.  It doesn’t matter your story, your year, your situation, you don’t sit down and stuff sweet potatoes in your mouth while spouting off about your crap.  It’s glutenous optimism and extra helpings of blessings.

Already today I heard:

“I’m so thankful only one achilles hurts.”

“I’m so glad I don’t have a dairy allergy.”

“Thank thank you, I can be here.”

“Thank you for you.”

“Stop barking.  Oh I love you.”

“You stink.” (10 minutes later) “I am so grateful for Dove.”

Health.  Health.  Health.  If you have your health, you have a million things to complain about.  If you don’t, you have ONE.  Death is a maybe for the young and certain for the old, we will all go sometime.  It’s one life.

Enjoy yours.

Thank you.

Beer & Diamonds

Beer & Diamonds.  It sounds like a country song or perhaps a southern proposal.  Darlin, that’s not foam in your beer and it ain’t my tear none either.  Will you be my wife?

Following the rules of logic, before we discuss diamonds, let’s talk about beer.  The Beer Mile has been catching my attention ever since James “The Beast” Nielson posted a 4:57 mile chugging a beer each lap.  NOW that sounds impressive.  Apparently the Beer Mile is also a universal event, only in Germany it’s Kaustenlauf and you run an entire 10K drinking a crate of beer.  Ja Wohl Herr Barfmeister!

Then out of Austin, Texas, Chris Kimbrough topped the female world record list by chugging and running a 6:28 mile.  Apparently, there are Beer Mile events all over creation and there is even a World Championship Beer Mile December 3rd in Austin.

I’m a decent miler.  I’m a decent drinker.  I kept wondering…How hard is the beer mile?

Well, there of course is only one way to find out.  For my first attempt, I did almost everything wrong.  First, I ate lunch.  Tisk.  Second, I selected a quiet dirt track.  Slow.  Third, I picked a 7% IPA served ice cold.  Dumb ass.  Fourth, I feared ridicule and took the time to toss the beers into a recycle bin at the track.  Ironically, I was busted anyway by a drive by client.  Shouldn’t have worn the bright pink shirt!

I punched my watch and cracked my first beer determined to suck it down in 15 seconds.  It took 30.  And so went my mile.  I would slug and chug and gasp for air like a drowning puppy then sprint and burp like a high speed Norm.  I completed the mile in 7:53, puked a tiny bit in the grass, and then had a rougher time in the bathroom.

That SUCKED!  Clearly, I can’t chug.  The next day, I went to the store to select more appropriate 5% beer to leave on the kitchen counter at room temperature.  While pondering which brew will be less likely to spew, a seventy-seven year old German man begins chattering in my ear about the selections.  We engage in a twenty minute conversation in broken German where he tells me at least four times his age and I believe I must have mistakenly translated that I am seventeen because he keeps telling me I’m too young to have kids.  But he’s OK with me drinking.

He picks up a six pack and puts it in my cart.  “Drink that,” he says, “There’s no preservatives.  I have eight a day.  I’m seventy-seven.”  I’m choking on the eight a day part when he moves right into an entirely different lecture.  “You know the problem with young relationships?”  No. Oh no.  “You all gossip too much on those phones.   You used to walk to a park and drink a beer or go for a mile run (Did he really just put those two together randomly?), but now you all click on those phones the gossip and it grows and grows.  Gossip is an awful thing.  I just drink my beer.  I’m a happy man.”

Thank you Manfred.

Now back to that beer.  I have to improve my chugging.  My family cheered on while I chug a beer in the kitchen: 28 seconds.  BURP!  The next day I switch to diet root beer because frankly Cliff&Norm scare me: 23 seconds and then 22 seconds.  Argh!

Go chug a beer or a coke and let me know what you get?

You won’t get a diamond, but if you do, please teach me oh wise one.  I have a lovely set of diamond earrings that I never take off except to clean.  A year ago, the one in the left ear wiggled its way out of my ear lobe over a half marathon course and was gone.  I ran the course the next day scouring the ground for the lost gem.  After much scolding from Gods and Husbands, insurance did replace the rock and I cemented my darlings back into my lobes.

I have a nervous habit of twiddling the backs of these earrings to make sure they are on tight and still there.  Like a tic, I do this constantly.  Annoying!  This morning I went for a workout run along the dirt bike path and around dirt loops and then back along a dirt trail through neighborhoods and over wood chips and horse shit and gravel roads.  I went past ditches and cliffs and over bridges and through trees.  When I arrived at my car, I noticed that my left earring was once again missing.

MotherF88ker! WTF! WHY F88k? F88k! F88k!   I stared out at the inevitable waste of a total Saturday: retrace 13 miles of running to find the little diamond earring.  It didn’t work a year ago.  Chances are it won’t work again, but for some reason, I just felt that today TODAY today it would.

I begged reinforcements to come help me look.  Slowly, I walked back through my run looking at everything.  The insurance company is gonna accuse me of fraud, I thought.  “Let me get this straight, you have now lost TWO earrings?  A matching set?  Missing?”  I kept looking and asking every person on the trail who all looked back at me with that same glazed look of Good Luck with that Crap Shoot.

When I was twenty one, I was injured in a river kayaking back country trip and couldn’t move my upper body.  The group wanted to call a helicopter to lift me out to medical attention.  “If a chopper comes and saves me, does my dad get that bill?”  Yes.  “Yeah, you’re gonna have to strap me to a board and float me down the river with the group OK?”  It was a miserable, yet cheap evacuation.  I can’t go home with one earring!  I don’t want to.

I walked on repeating Today I’m gonna find it.  It should just be here.  It’s gonna be here.  I’m gonna find it.  I came very close to closing my dirt loop without finding the diamond.  Getting increasingly more agitated, I repeated my mantra louder and with more heart felt frustration.  Then I just dropped down and said, “It should be right here!”  And it was.

Covered in dust and not glittering on the trail was a lonely little misbehaving sentimental earring.  A stupid little materialistic thing that made me scream and jump in a whirl of glee and exhilaration.  DIAMONDS!!!!!!!!

I can’t say I felt that good after the beer mile.  Maybe we should all just stick with De Beers.

Talk to Listen

It’s hard to talk to a child who never stops talking.  Please stop talking until your toast is toasted.

OK! How many minutes?


One two three….sixty, ONE MINUTE.  One two three….sixty, TWO MINUTES…….FIVE MINUTES!  DING!  IT’s Done!  I did it!

The morning routine often leaves me banging my head against a wall repeatedly encouraging breakfast chewing, teeth brushing, sunscreen smearing, dog harnessing, backpack retrieving and for God Sake’s put your mf shoes on your feet!

Why are you so mad?  I’m gonna do it.

My favorite ad slogan of all time, JUST DO IT!  #NOW!

It’s also hard not to listen to a child who talks all the time.  Often because you’re trapped in a car or the bathroom with the yammering joy of chattering little teeth.  When I slow down, the banter that comes out of my child’s mouth could be medicinal.  All the world should hope to be as optimistic, enthusiastic, and loving as a child.  Were we all this way?  I don’t think so.  What makes a human so inherently happy…..and social….and vocal….all the time?

Have a great day.  I WILL!

(To the man in drag) I love your house and your hair!

You’re the best mommy ever, and I’m the best boy ever!

I’m so cute.

I absolutely LOVE this salad!  It’s the best salad ever!  I just don’t like….(moves every single piece of salad to the opposite side of the plate.)

OH!  A corvette!  That’s a pinto.  It’s LOOKS so cool!  It’s cool!  Rrrrrrrrrrrrrooooom.

I love candy.  I have a lot.  Do you want some?  No thank you.  Grrrrreeat, I’ll eat your share.

Kick the ball to me!  I’m a fat rapper!  (Totally don’t get that one.)

I like to run or ride to get my high, my kid just wakes up high.  So, I’m listening a lot more to all the little dribbles purging from his mouth.  There must be wisdom there and if not, it will at least make you laugh.

Betsy's portraits of Lachlan and Isla Fall 2014 9

*photo by Elizabeth Peace