Mate and the Relay

So, Mate had a relay race this weekend.  A bunch of guys ran different legs of a hundred mile race–Mate ran three legs of around five miles a piece-and generally, they hung out in a van, bonded, and then got out of the van and ran.

Sounds sort of cool.  (It also sounds sort of why I did things like join band and drama and why other kids joined sports in high school, honestly.  Human bonding and some sort of goal.  The cavemen went out on hunts and to gather food to get the same experience–we just shove guys in a van, kick them out on the curb and shout, “Run you bastards, run!” for the equivalent.  Eh, progress.)

So, Mate thought he’d make the most out of having to be out of town, and hauling the rest of us with him. First, he planned (along with all his running-for-charity peeps) to attend a baseball game, and thus we dragged the spawn with us–but there were some hiccups.

The first hiccup was that we didn’t leave town in time.  Mate takes sole responsibility for this, and I don’t know how right that is, but arriving in San Francisco during rush hour on Friday while trying to attend a game on time was such a debacle that I’m willing to let him take the fall.  Seriously.  We spent AN HOUR about four blocks from our hotel.  Mommy had to do her mommy thing then, and calm Mate down and assure him that getting there in the third inning was still seeing a game, as long as we bought the kids their damned hot dogs and I got my garlic fries, the situation was salvageable.  (Seriously.  The garlic fries at a Giant’s game puts paid to a lot of traffic angst, I’m telling ya.)

So, you can see by the pictures that yes–this was true.  The situation was salvaged, and at the end of it all, we had a lovely time.  Mate left early Saturday morning to go running, and I was to bring the kids into Santa Cruz where the race ended, and that brings us to hiccup number two.

The second hiccup was that Chicken had to go home on Saturday.

Yeah– you heard that right.  Chicken, who had been THE most excited about hanging out in Santa Cruz, had needed to go home–she is rehearsing for her senior dance for recital, the rehearsals are on Sunday, and she COULD NOT POSSIBLY MISS THIS.  Period.  The end.

Anyway, so we put Chicken AND Big T on a train.  You heard that.  I’m such a good mother I abandoned my babies at a train station in the middle of San Jose, that I couldn’t find again in traffic if you put a gun to my head.  They texted and assured me that yes, they did eventually make it to Roseville where their auntie Wendy picked them up and then took them to see the Avengers, AGAIN! (They saw it Thursday night with Mate and color me green!) but still.  Was not thrilled to seem them go.

But we DID make it to Santa Cruz, and we DID (remember, I was navigating alone!) make it to the hotel, and we did manage to hook up with Julianne, who gave us directions to a nice place to eat, and took us to the beach. (After demonstrating that yes, I CAN get lost multiple times at the same intersection, even when there’s someone waving me down on the side of the road thinking, “I could swear you passed me twice!”) But still– it was awesome fun.  The kids played in the water, played in the sand, and even (and this never happens) pulled out the kites.  (This never happens because I always forget the kites.  They got some for Easter, and this time I remembered.  It was very cool.)

So it was good–even though we got back to the hotel and I had a major mommy meltdown on the little kids for ditching me when I was bringing the last of their stuff to the hotel (including their books and stuffed animals) and playing elevator tag.  Why yes, those WERE my children–why do you ask?  And YES, they DID get a thorough arse-reaming and a tearful timeout when we got to the hotel room.  HONESTLY, I was JUST waiting until there were no witnesses.  Doesn’t every mother do that before she becomes completely unglued?

Today, Mate comes in (he’s just texted me that the guys are done, and the first van is going to be at the hotel in a couple of hours.  I’m not sure what that does to mine and Julianne’s plans to go shopping at the yarn store– *sigh* — but I’m glad he’s back, and it all went well, and he’s only a little stiff and sore and not limping, like the last time he did a run with friends.)  And in the meantime?

I’m glad he’s back.  I’m glad we came.  We’ve had a very good time, and I’m really proud of him.

 Oh– the crawfish?  The crawfish was sort of a class project for my son’s classroom.  I got a picture of this guy, throwing his claws around, being pissed off, and I adored him so much, I just wanted to caption that picture with “Vive la Cranky!” and make the world’s first LOL Crawfish.  I love him.  He’s the epitome of doomed chutzpah, and he’ll be delicious with butter and garlic. (No, they’re not going to eat them, alas– just going to stress them out until they curl up in a ball and start to smell bad.  Poor crawfish.  You can just tell this guy thinks butter and Garlic would be more dignified.)

And also, here’s a reminder that in writing news, Gambling Men is out tomorrow!  Yay!  And to celebrate, I’m going to post the first chapter–and it’s not the chapter you think it’s gonna be.  Yup.  You all thought it was going to start with Quentin–and Quentin’s first chapter, the one in the Curious anthology really is next.  But the thing you gotta realize is that it all starts, ALL starts, with Jace:

… How to Deal …

“MCDONALD’S? Really, Jace?”

Jason Spade looked up at his business partner, old frat buddy, and best friend, trying to keep his face impassive. “I like McDonald’s.” 

Quent Jackson was looking good today—dark hair cut to part on the side, neatly trimmed goatee framing almost ridiculously full lips. Of course, Quent looked good every day. Quent had even looked good when they were both college freshmen, rooming together, before the goatee or the expensively cut hair or the natty suits, and even before the acne had cleared up. Something about Quentin’s brown eyes and open smile had always looked good to Jace. It was why he’d maneuvered their room assignments in college and asked Quent to partner with him in their day trading company. It wasn’t because Quentin was a shark—he was good enough at his job, and he certainly held his own—but because Quentin was a mammal. A warm-blooded, friendly, sweet-tempered fox who could get his own dinner but who knew how to curl up in a nest. 

When they’d roomed together in college, he’d always made their dorm room home. 

“We usually eat sushi,” Quent was saying now with a lift of his naturally skeptical eyebrow. Quent didn’t seem to believe the obvious things—or the things Jace thought should be obvious—and that bothered Jace. 

Right now, it was bothering him a lot.

“Sometimes,” Jace grunted, not wanting to put it into words, “sometimes, french fries are better than sushi.”

“So I got McDonald’s for the french fries?” Again, that skeptical eyebrow. 



Jace swallowed. Damn Quentin. Damn him for needing words. 

“French fries are like blow jobs,” he said shortly, and he had to give it to Quent. He didn’t blush or anything. His eyes got big, and he paused with a ketchup-smothered fry on the way to his mouth, but he didn’t blush.

But his swallow was audible. “Elaborate.”

Jace scowled. “Sometimes, the meal is the burger and the french fries are a prelude, right?”


“Sometimes, you eat the fries, and they’re good, but what you really want is the meat, right?”


“But sometimes….” Jace took a deep breath and then brought a crackling, crisp, salty, slick, tangy little stick of heaven to his mouth and chewed, closing his eyes and letting the fry slide down his gullet, almost shuddering in ecstasy. “Sometimes, the fry alone is all you need. It’s the whole meal, first course, last course, beginning to end. Sometimes, the french fry is all you need and all you ever fucking want.”

Quent grinned at him, looking pleased by the analogy. “Well, Jace, I’ll think about that the next time I’m getting a blow job!”

Jace tried not to sigh. 

Quentin grinned. He liked the idea. But he didn’t blush. 

“Well, it’s not going happen tonight,” Jace said, the thought almost consoling him. “Tonight, we’ve got racquetball.” 

Quent rolled his eyes. “Another chance for you to kick my ass in something. Fabulous.”

“I do my best.”

Yup. Jace was going to have to wait for the blush.  

0 thoughts on “Mate and the Relay”

  1. roxie says:

    Yay Mate! Yay Amy! Yay Chicken and Big T. (Neat adventure, kids!) Sounds like win,win, win all around.

  2. You're a much more tolerant spouse and parent than I am, that's all I have to say.

  3. You're a much more tolerant spouse and parent than I am, that's all I have to say.

  4. What a fun trip. You've got a smart phone, you shouldn't be getting lost. Course if your navigator tells you to turn the wrong direction, you will.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have to admit your crazy life sounded so exotic until I got my own girls. Now it just sounds a lot like mine :o)

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