Finally, after weeks and weeks of wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming, Jeansperience '07 is happening this Saturday! Needless to say, I'm soooo excited to meet some of my biggest fans and give them a first-ever opportunity to experience the places in my life as well as get to know me personally! And if you're still kicking yourself for not signing up by the Aug. 30 deadline, take heart (and tie a pillow around your sore rear!)—there's still several seats available in the van I've chartered! And I'm still not sure whether Bobbi, Mr. Benedict, and this friend of my buddy Fulgencio who likes to wear eyeliner have entirely committed.
Here's the schedule once again: We'll meet at 9:30 a.m. sharp for brunch at the Licked Skillet, 492 Gussett Rd., two blocks down from the U-Haul office and Lula's Beauty Supply and across from the self-storage warehouses. I've reserved an entire long table, no mean feat for the weekend brunch rush. But we have to be out at 10:30 sharp—no stragglers, please!
From 10:30 to 12:00, we'll embark on our first leg of the tour, in which we traipse through some Teasdalian locales old and new! First we'll glide past 1567 Blossom Meadows Drive, site of the Emerald View Apartments, aka Casa Teasdale! If we're lucky, maybe we'll catch a glimpse of Hubby Rick's pickup truck! Then we'll breeze by the former site of my old jobs at the Fashion Bug and Off-Season Santa. The strip mall was razed after the fire and it's now an empty lot, but, as with everyplace else, you'll still have an opportunity to get out and take pictures.
At 12:00, we'll head out to the neighborhood where I grew up, about a half-hour's drive away. We'll pass my old homestead on 1112 Daisy Lane, a ranch house built by my dad back in the '60s. The current homeowners repainted it pale yellow (lime green was the original color), and no, unfortunately the yard is no longer completely paved over like my dad did it, to answer a question from a reader. But it truly was known by neighborhood children for years as the "Crazy House," and from what I heard, the first family to occupy it after we moved sold it less than a year later because they swore it was haunted. I never understood that, since we never had any ghosts, nor did anyone in my family meet a violent death in it, or died there at all. (Can a place be haunted by the forms of living people??) Anyhoo, I digress! Immaculate Heart Hospital, where I made my auspicious debut 26 years ago (!!), is a mile south, and Virgil I. Grissom Memorial High School is a bit further. Grissom, of course, is famed as the place where I met Hubby Rick! (And a few blocks away is the parking lot where we…well, you'll see it.)
We'll be absolutely starving by this point, so at 1:30 let's grab a quick bite at the Old Country Buffet on Clover Rd. Why so specific? Because Old Country Buffet is on the former site of Cousin Calliope's Pizza, my first restaurant job, and also the first restaurant job I was fired from!
Returning to town by 2:45, we'll stop off at an unexpected place—the university campus. No, your old pal Jean isn't living a secret life as a genius math professor! Instead, we'll be heading to the Humanities Building for a screening of what is known as a "rough cut" of Santa Claus Comes Back To Town, a documentary about Off-Season Santa, the business my dad and I ran for a few months. It was shot by this girl named Jen, who's a film major. It's only about 40 minutes long, but that's plenty for me! It will be hard watching the scenes from when the place burned down. Actually, it'll be hard watching the scenes with no shoppers coming into the store, too. Jen said once she's finished with it she'll enter the movie in festivals. Will I be the next reality star?? Stay tuned!!
At 4:00, it's off to the Riverside Indoor Flea Market, site of my current job helping Fulgencio run his collectibles stall. There you'll be put to work sweeping the floor and hauling old furniture! J.K.!!! C'mon, I wouldn't do that to you! Instead, we'll spend a leisurely two hours shopping to our hearts' content. If you're fresh out of wooden fruit, or need a rainbow-colored beret with fake dreadlocks sewn to it, look no further! Seriously, it's amazing the things this place has. You'll wonder why you ever paid full price for ceramic clowns!
Six p.m., and the fun's still not over. I've saved the best for last: Happy Hour at Tacky's Tavern. Personally, I wouldn't mind going back to my place and baking cookies and watching my TiVo'd soaps with you, but from what I understand, Tacky's is the most referenced Teasdale site among you Jeanketeers. Plus, you'll get to meet Rick! Hope he won't be too rude. You might want to buy him a beer so he'll behave. Actually, Fulgencio's friend with the eyeliner may want to leave.
So that's what to expect from this year's Jeansperience! I hope you'll all enjoy it, and don't forget to bring money for food and the van rental and your IDs for Tacky's! If it's a success this year, I might expand it next year to include the trailer park where Rick and I first lived as a married couple with his senile grandmother, the Mail Boxes, Etc. where I send my Onion columns, and the irrigation canal outside of town into which I threw my memoirs in anger a few years back.