In an effort to slow down a bit and enjoy what’s left of the summer, Mr. Fizz and I went camping up north with two of our friends, K and T, from Sunday to Tuesday.

We had a leisurely drive up north via Rt. 16, and decided to stay at the Jigger Johnson Campground on the Kancamagus Highway. We picked Jigger for two reasons: a) the name is fabulous (and made moreso if you Snoop Dogg-ize it as Jizzigger Jizzohnson) and b) it’s the only campground on the Kanc with flush toilets. Jigger Johnson also has showers, but because these cost $2 for 6 minutes we all elected to wash in the Swift River and stay fairly dirty.

We arrived at the campsite around 3, and K and I immediately set out in search of firewood and a recreational flotation device while the men undertook the manly task of setting up a tarp to cover our tents in case of rain. Due to Mr. Fizz’s erroneous assumption that the closest town (Bartlett) would have both the items on our shopping list, we headed up Bear Notch Rd (a lovely drive) instead of back along the Kanc to Conway. Bartlett, unfortunately, had nothing (except a Josiah Bartlett Elementary School! Ha! West Wing all the way, baby!), so we continued on to Conway via a long and tortuously slow stretch of Rt. 302. Once in Conway we quickly found a $10 River Rat inner tube and headed back along the Kanc to Jizzigger Jizzohnson, where the men were just putting the finishing touches on the most heavily secured tarp in NH. We whiled away the afternoon sitting on the banks of the swift river, and had some scorched hot dogs and potatoes for dinner.

Monday morning we got up bright and early, toasted some bagels, and headed off to Rocky Gorge to do some water sliding. Rocky Gorge was a blast, as usual – the water was at just the right depth to allow us to make use of the natural water slides, and not too deep to make it dangerous. Which of course means that both K and T managed to hurt themselves, and we saw two kids accidentally fall over the bigger waterfalls. K took a few runs down one of the slides and was sidelined with a crunched toe and gashed ankle. T, on the other hand, was an enthusiastic explorer of new routes, which turned out to be his downfall. He decided to try a particularly fast run that ended in a sheer 8 foot waterfall (which in turn ended in about two feet of water); the plan was that he’d yank himself to safety on a ledge that jutted out over the water (mere feet from the waterfall). Of course, the yank to safety didn’t go off as planned, and T went over the waterfall in slow motion. Fortunately the only damage was to his wrist, which was painful to bend. Could’ve been much worse….

After lunch we bundled everyone back into the car and headed to the upper falls, where I spent an hour hiking up the river and tubing back down while T tried some jumps off the cliff below the main waterfall and K and Mr. Fizz read. We headed back to the campsite fairly early as it looked like it was going to rain and we were FREEZING. Or at least I was.

Early dinner, with Mac’n’cheese and yummy salad, s’mores, and off to bed by 10. If only we could do that when at home!

Tuesday morning we broke camp and trooped down to the river to try out a rope swing Mr. Fizz and I had discovered the night before. We all gave it a try – except Mr. Fizz, who took pictures for posterity. Then we headed back to Conway to spend the afternoon at Diana’s Baths. The baths were also in fine form, with just the right amount of water for some dipping (no good waterslides, though!). We trundled from the top of the falls to the bottom and back again, and then packed it in and headed back to civilization.

Evil little maggots

Mr. Fizz discovered a maggot in our rice pilaf last night. Ew.

Instead of suing the rice pilaf maker, I took a good look in our rice/pasta cabinet, and discovered, much to my dismay, that the maggots and resulting moths had taken over everything not in a plastic container. Unopened boxes of pasta and bags of rice had maggots. Everything had to get thrown out. And now the cabinet has to get cleaned and vacuumed. ARGH! I’m just hoping that they didn’t manage to spread to any of the other cabinets, though I suppose I should throw out the flour and sugar just to be safe.

I blame this infestation on the guy who owned our condo before us – he never cleaned, and the moths were already in residence when we moved in. They hid out in our tupperware cabinet for a while, and I’m guessing that after a while they moved on to our food cabinets. I always thought it was an isolated problem, but apparently not. EVERY damn thing in our food cabinet had maggots.

Planes, trains and automobiles

The Weekend Update:

Caught an early train to NYC that got us into Penn Station at 12:15, where we were picked up by Mr. Fizz’s grandparents. We parked their car, got some lunch, and walked over to the Museum of Modern Art. There were some interesting pieces in the museum, including a photography exhibit by a guy whose name I’ve forgotten, but I still maintain that a blob of paint on a white canvas is not art and should not be so highly valued.

From MOMA we waded through the heat to the car and drove back to the GP’s house in NJ. At this point the vile cold I’d contracted from my husband really hit me, and I spent the rest of the evening trying not to throw up while we ate dinner at a Japanese place (the hibachi grill *was* cool, though).

When we got home Mr. Fizz’s grandfather collected our wedding rings and other jewelry to take them in for an early morning cleaning at Mr. Fizz’s uncle’s jewelry store. This led Mr. Fizz to proudly hold up his ringless left hand and announce “Look! I’m not married any more!” Cutie.

On Saturday we got all our rings and such back (sparklier than ever before…I don’t know how they do it! I use the sonicator at work to clean my rings but they never come out as polished and sparkly as they do when they go to the jewelry store.) and I went shopping with Mr. Fizz’s grandmother. Then we napped and went over to see Mr. Fizz’s aunt and uncle’s new Outdoor Entertainment Center, complete with huge grill, granite countertops, a sink, a fridge and a pool. It was very, very nice. Had a fun dinner and a very scary trip to get ice cream with Mr. Fizz’s cousin and his girlfriend (people under 25 should NOT be allowed to drive SUVs). The ice cream place was amazing…they had the best chocolate peanut butter cup yogurt EVER, and I fully intend to go visit Mr. Fizz’s relatives on a more regular basis so I can have some more of the ice cream.

On Sunday Mr. Fizz’s grandparents drove us back to NYC, where we met up with some friends, saw their new apartment (very nice!) and caught a train back home. The train ride back home was NO fun – it was delayed by an hour at Penn Station, and then delayed by another hour due to thunderstorms. So we finally got home around 9:30, made dinner and went to bed.

End of Weekend Update.

So you think you can dress?

My proposal for FoxTV’s newest show:

Take the 24 finalists for a bogus reality show and wire them up to a panel of stylists (good stylists, not, for example, those who style Bai Ling or Ginormous Maternity Spears). Let the contestants loose in a mall, and allow the stylists to administer electrical shocks every time a contestant picks up a piece of clothing that is manifestly fugly, boho, or bad for his or her body shape. The first contestant to put together a non-fugly outfit wins the prize.

A bunch of belly dance lists

Because I’m bored:

Moves that took me the longest to “get”:
1) Egyptian Walk (3/4 Shimmy) as taught by Hania in Oxford, England. An “up, down, out” movement that can be altered by doing it flat footed, on tiptoe, with a twist, backwards, forwards, etc. It took about six months of work before I stopped looking like a “drunken sailor” when I did this move.
2) Reverse Undulation – Melina. A move that took me FOREVER (okay, maybe a year) to get and wows the audience every time.
3) Belly Rolls – Amira Jamal. Amira Jamal did a great job of breaking down belly rolls, and, after five years of non-rolling, I was finally able to become a roller!
4) Torso isolations, also by Melina. Melina told us a good dancer should be able to isolate the top, middle and lower stomach; clenching the muscles in any of those regions creates a little smiley face dimple in the skin. The first is just below the rib cage, the second is at the navel, and the third is about four inches below the navel at the top of the pelvis. I finally got this about two weeks ago.

Favorite moves to do when I’m lazy:
1) Egyptian Nailed – as taught by Melina. A basic warmup move that can be turned into a performance move for the very lazy or tired. Many hand and hip variations exist, so technically you could probably get through a whole song just using this move.
2) Any traveling move involving a hit, torque or drop.
3) Hip drops to the front, back and front.

My most freakin’ impressive moves:
1) Reverse Undulation – Melina. Especially in combination with #2
2) Triangle Locks – taught by Dondi. Providing endless fun during drum solos, these are a series of locks that form a triangle pattern: right, back, front, left, back, front etc. I like to transition from hip to chest locks with a reverse undulation.
3) That floor work move where I balance a sword on my head and lean back with my legs straight out and lift myself up and then do belly rolls.
4) Beledi drops while balancing a sword – Drop to a squat position (knees together, of course!), and jump back up. Bonus points if you jump up so fast you can feel your sword become airborne and then clunk back down on your head.

Blah, Blah, Weekend, Blah

Friday night: Mr. Fizz and I attended a goodbye soiree for one of our friends who is moving to the West Coast to go to law school and be with her fiance. We met at a cool coffee shop I hadn’t been to in ages (they have the BEST raspberry lime rickeys EVER) and then got some good Indian food. From there I left Mr. Fizz to play nintendo with one of his friends and went out dancing with a few friends of mine. We tried two different clubs, the first of which was very pretentious (theme = heaven and hell; the basement (dance floor) had rock walls and red lighting, while the ground floor was a big vaulted bar area and the upstairs had a starry sky and blue lighting). Pretentious club had very, very sucky music (by sucky I mean I couldn’t sing along to anything because it had all come out in the last year or so). So we left and went to a much rowdier, no-pretentions-whatsoever-club where all the patrons were 21.02 days old and most were trying to hook up with one another. Fortunately they had a large dance floor (not large enough for some of the more spastic frat boys, though) and we were able to dance in our little compact square without too much interuption. And I could sing along.

On Saturday I went to karate (I was supposed to meet with Little Miss Airhead Saturday morning, but she called (she called! She remembered what day is was!) and cancelled). Generally Mr. Fizz attends karate with me – he’s a higher belt than I am, but I swear I’m catching up! – but today he had meetings to attend. After karate I headed to my parents’ house, did some shopping (who knew tan sandals without killer heels but still with some lift would be so hard to find??), and ran to pick up Mr. Fizz for his 10 year high school musical reunion.

Way back in 1995, when Mr. Fizz and I had just started dating, Mr. Fizz appeared in a production of Hair. I distinctly remember that during the leadup to the show the actors were forbidden to cut their hair, and I thought that Mr. Fizz looked extremely funny. Back then he was a skinny little high schooler with HUGELY poofy hair. I think that initial experience with poofiness is what drives me to make Mr. Fizz get his hair cut as short as possible whenever he goes to the barber shop!

Anyway, Saturday night was the 10 year Hair reunion, and we schmoozed with the 10-ish cast members who made it, as well as the director and the musical director. It was interesting to see what people were doing (one has joined the circus, one ispursuing a PhD in Earth Science, one is doing a Masters in Music, two are involved in preschool teaching, one is in a band in NYC, one is a reporter, one I didn’t get to talk to, and one had an 18-month-old son). It was even more interesting to watch the video of the performance and discuss what would have to change if the production were to take place today. The director said that the “Sodomy” song – which the cast hummed but did not sing during the production – would be fine to sing today, whereas songs and gestures denigrating the American flag wouldn’t go over so well with today’s audiences.

Sunday I continued my quest for the perfect tan sandals while Mr. Fizz continued his quest to spend his weekends in meetings. We rendezvous’ed for a housewarming party, and then I performed at one of my usual restaurant venues in the evening.

It was a busy weekend. But interesting. And now I’m back in lab and have a sore throat and want MORE WEEKEND! 🙁