The sixth day of vacation continued with dinner for three at a family-friendly grill located west of Lake Avenue. I went against my own good judgement to order a Garlic Gouda Burger that Chuck had eaten the last time we went to this restaurant. I'd had a bite that time and thought it was delish. I'd also come home and shared couch-space with him and suffered the aftermath. It's a burger that stains one's innards with a putrid rot that can only be released in gusts of burp that seem to come from a bodily crypt lodged somewhere behind the spleen.
As an act of good will, I considered a simple BBQ cheeseburger that promised to have a far less toxic chemical effect -- but ultimately our server sold me on the Garlic Gouda Burger. I gave Chuck my most apologetic face and a contradictory nonchalant shrug.
He, of course, ordered a Salmon Wrap, which made my Meat Party all the more obnoxious.
Meanwhile, to my left, The Girl gnawed on the rind of a melon and then coughed dramatically. She tried to eat a peel. She squished the banana in her mannish fist. I'd ordered for her eggs and toast with peanut butter and raspberry jelly. She ate the jelly by the fingerful until her hand was sticky and her mouth appeared bloody, like she had been feasting on a deer carcass in the deep woods. Then she moved on to the peanut butter, again refusing to use the toast as a vehicle.
Do you know how hard it is to get homemade peanut butter off a human hand with a dry napkin? She looked like she had a skin condition.
"I'm going to barf," I told Chuck.
Every time an actual piece of egg went into her little mouth, it seemed accidental.
My burger was fantastic, by the way. The garlic was buttered into the top of the bun and I'd opted for raw onions over the caramelized onions listed on the menu. If you're going to make stink, make the biggest stink you can, amiright?
By the time we got to the car, the first waves of bad air were bubbling to the surface. It was going to be a long night.
We do Cocktails on Friday nights. I think I've mentioned this. A new drink each week paired with an appetizer. We make a big freaking deal about it. We call it Cocktails42 and I post it on Instagram and the whole thing lasts like 16 minutes. Tops.
Since we've been on vacation, almost every night is cocktail night.
On Thursday night we drank Monte Carlos: Rye Whiskey, Benedictine and Angostura Bitters. We ate caramel corn and played Scrabble and listened to mix tapes I'd found in my parents' basement.
A FEW FACTS ABOUT THE MIX MASTER
1. I remember myself as being quite the mixologist, what with my hunger for the alt scene and a highly capable boom box;
2. So why did we stumble on a 120 minute tape with just one song -- "I'm Your Lady" by Celine Dion -- recorded once on both sides?
3. And why did I have recordings of fuzzy, mal-tuned country stations?
4. What kind of mix master puts two Indigo Girls songs in a row -- let alone three?
Anyway this edition of Cocktails42 ended with TWO drinks, a Scrabble victory and Toad the Wet Sprocket playing on Spotify.
David Carr died, which I thought I'd mis-read when I saw the NYTimes story on Facebook. This made for a night of much refreshing of internets. I can't think of another writer who is so consistently readable and enjoyable. I doubled back to an essay about his twin daughters and his drug addiction and I had to stop because it made me ill -- the story, his sudden death, all of it.
I woke in the night convinced that I had the flu. My stomach was pounding and every time I thought about that Garlic Gouda Burger, I heaved. I curled up on the futon, shivering, and prepared to have the worst level of sick in recent history.
It's terrifying to imagine having a projectile-level of sick when you're charged with caring for a toddler.
Chuck prepared The Girl for the day, while I stayed in bed and regretted my every body part, especially my head and stomach.
In the middle of making Smoothies, I noticed that the expiration date on the Coconut Milk was either Jan. 4 or April 4. By now I realized that I didn't have the flu, I had a good old fashioned hangover -- something one would think I would recognize. The Meat Party seemed to be exacerbating it, because every time I thought about that burger I wanted to fold my body in half and lie on the coldest surface I could find.
I went to the store for a different carton of Coconut Milk and the expiration date on that one, stamped in a similar stamp, was April 4. On the way to the store I noticed it was 9:56 a.m. I'm still always surprised when I realize how early I wake these days. On the way back from the store I picked up an Egg McMuffin. The novelty of the breakfast menu compounded with the hangover, and all.
Me: How come you're fine?
Chuck: I didn't eat a big ridiculous hamburger.
I bought four new tires.
"How was your nap?" I say to The Girl. "Did you poop yourself awake?"
She replies: "No poop. Elmo poop."
That's the first complete thought she's expressed, I say to Chuck.
"Yeah. And it was a lie," he responds.
We watched "Nightcrawler," which was super freaking intense and great. Then we watched "Downton Abbey" to recalibrate our nerves.
At precisely 11:30 a.m., on my eighth day of vacation (and Chuck's first day not on vacation anymore), The Girl was blasted with an ear infection that knocked all her good cheer into another county. Drugs were acquired, her nose was wiped twice a minute for about eight hours, liquids were force fed, hair was stroked, and much animation was watched.
It's an epic level of sad. Like, the saddest thing of all time.
I've lost all will to do chores or run errands or climb onto the elliptical for a viewing of "The Good Wife" because my replacement FitBit is still en route.
But it looks like Season 2 of "Broad City" is now on Hulu Plus, so HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO ME! (she exclaimed, loudly to herself, just as she heard The Girl's ear-infection/fever/snot nose sleep cries begin over the monitor).