Saturday, July 31, 2010
At the office:
Boss: "I have a new project for you to work on."
Me: "No fair! That's too much work! You can't make me. You have to help me."
Boss: "And how is that report coming along?"
Me: "That report is stupid. I hate it. I am going to smash that report up"
At a friends house for dinner:
Me: "We are having what for dinner? It smells. I'm not going to eat that. You can't make me."
Me: "I like your necklace. It's my turn to wear the necklace. I am the guest and you are suppose to share. If you don't share your necklace with me I am not going to be you friend again for 50 million years"
At the grocery store:
I ram my grocery cart which is filled to the top with only things that I really like (wine, expensive cheese, ice cream and sushi) into a long line of carts at the check out line. "This line is too long! It's not fair! I want to be first! Can I please go first? I hate lines. You guys are mean!"
I wonder how all that would work out for me.
Friday, July 30, 2010
My heart squeezed tight in my chest as I felt your soft little body curled close to mine. I checked for your breath and there it was, labored and fragile, but there none the less. I knew our time was short. My tears dampened your regal fur, but you hardly minded, I heard the sweet soft rumble of a purr. Don't leave. Stay with us. I love you. I open my eyes and you are gone.
I am surprised by the grief that I have felt for the loss of my cat. I guess we can't under estimate the capacity we have to love a pet. Especially one like Wiggum. I miss him.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
What Not To Do:
Fisherman's Wharf on Saturday with Kids.
BAD. IDEA. I'll repeat that for anyone who missed it. BAD. IDEA. Sadly, I am afraid that Fisherman's Wharf may not be a desirable destination for anyone at anytime, but when you combine the crowds of a Saturday afternoon, a two year old who refuses the stroller, and a 4.5 year old who thinks that walking is boring, you have a recipe for disaster. I remember visiting the wharf as a tourist years ago, and I never hated it. In fact, I think I enjoyed the festive atmosphere. I remember street vendors and performers, fun restaurants, gooey ice cream sundaes at Ghiradelli Square, the smell of the ocean.... I wonder if these colorful memories are a clear picture of what actually was, and has since decayed, or if as a teenager I just didn't see the grit and the cliches of a tourist trap. Well in any case it is all crystal clear now. The bay area attraction is a crowded, chaotic collection of cheap t-shirt shops, overpriced junk food, and aggressive, often very drunk pan-handlers. As we walked down the street we had to cling to our little boys so that they would not be swept away in the throngs of under dressed out-of-state visitors. (Yes, you need a jacket in July). There is little to do actually, unless you want to shell out big bucks to visit the aquarium, or take a trip to Alcatraz. The Kargas family was on the cheap, so we decided against these activities. I thought we might grab a bite to eat, but all of the restaurants were packed, over-priced and required a wait. After about an hour we fled back to the car to head the hell out of dodge. Because we could not find a restroom appropriate for a diaper change I had to change my kiddo on the front seat of the car. I will spare you the details. Needless to day, not a fun morning.
But things got brighter. Quite by accident we ended up at Fenton's for lunch. This is on my "Do Again" list.
Fentons- We will be back.
Fenton's reminds me of a Madison restaurant I loved as a kid, Ella's Deli. I have very fond memories of this eatery from my childhood. Ella's is colorful, it is decorated with old fashioned toys, and an actual carousel sits right outside the restaurant (eat your veggies munchkins, and you can go for a ride!). There are kosher hot dogs and greasy french fries, bagels & lox (a personal favorite), pastrami on rye, and crunchy dill pickles. But of course the very best part is the old fashioned ice cream parlor style desserts. Big-over sized sundaes served in tulip glasses. Milk shakes with two straws and a metal mixing cup for what couldn't fit in the glass. Everything topped with whipped cream and a cherry of course.
Fentons does not have the carousel, or the toys, but it captures the spirit of Ella's. It has that care-free vibe that makes one throw caution to the wind "ah what the hell! I'll have a triple fudge brownie sundae with extra hot fudge!" The husband ordered a chili dog and fries, Zack a burger and Evan, Mac & Cheese. I did go with the safe, calorie conscious option of a grilled chicken salad, however the meal was followed up by an enormous ice cream concoction (which included carmel corn) that we shared with four spoons. Kids happy. Mommy happy. Daddy on the way to a low cholesterol diet.
So there you have it friends in the bay, spare yourself and stay far, far away from Fisherman's Wharf, and head straight to Fenton's instead.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The day arrives. We walk into Zack's classroom, my expectations for a mommy & me day high. Here I am son, you may now demonstrate your affection and excitement to have mama in class with you....
Hey kiddo, where are you going? You hang out with Tony everyday. This is my time. Buddy... come on over here, we can do play dough together....buddy?
I am left clutching a paper cup of really bad coffee. I stand there looking on as other children seem thrilled to have mommy or daddy at school with them. They sit on their parent's lap and read a book, or present them with a handmade card created for the occasion. There was no card for me. Zachary ignores me. This is what I switched my schedule around for? The marshmallow "roasting" (really marshmallows over a fake fire, what did I expect?) was a bust too. I sat behind my son who huddled next to the cellophane flames, his back to me. Boo.
I reminded myself that this is not a personal slight. I should be happy that Zachary has friends and that he has found his independence. Right? Right?
Except I have this memory, this vivid memory of a toddler clamoring with joy when I arrived through the doors of the daycare center to pick him up at the end of the day. This toddler would drop whatever he was doing, and run to me, arms outstretched "mommy! mommy! mommy!" he would holler until I clasped him in a hug. There was no better feeling in the world. I knew that my superstar status would not last forever, and that Zack would grow up, forming friendships that would trump me from time to time, I just didn't expect to happen this soon. He isn't even five yet. I can only imagine what life is going to be like when he reaches his teen years, will I be totally invisible?
Ahh well, I think, shaking off the disappointment as I leave Zachary to enjoy the rest of his morning in peace, at least I came, at least I was there, even if he didn't act like he wanted me to be. He would have noticed if I hadn't showed up.
So I'll keep showing up.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I am off to wine country tomorrow with a dear friend, and I am hoping for a wonderful refreshing time. Time with fantastic wine, sun, great conversation and a much needed massage. I hope that I will have something far more interesting to say upon my return. More than "poor kitty" "if only" "how did it happen so fast?".
Maybe in a few days I can refocus my attention and attempt at being witty. Until then...
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I sobbed, and sobbed. I know it's a cat, and I almost feel foolish, but honestly I loved that animal. Loved him. And I feel loss.
It came so unexpected. When we returned from Denver on Sunday I did not notice anything unusual, and I certainly would never have guessed that I would be writing this post on Thursday.
I feel drained, exhausted and like crawling back to bed. But it's a cat. Life doesn't stop for the death of a pet.
Am I crazy? Is this normal?
I miss you Wiggum. I wish that I knew this was coming so I could have held you in my arms more this past week, so that I could feel your soft body and know that you felt me. That last night, you weren't really there. Your eyes were vacant and you did not purr when you lied beside me. That wasn't you. I didn't get to say goodbye to you. My kitty.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We arrived in Denver late Wednesday evening. The flight went remarkably well. Zack watched Nemo, Evan ate snacks and was generally content. Much to my surprise I did actually read several chapters in my novel and the whole experience was quite pleasant. Perhaps there will be payback on our journey home.
Home. For my 30th birthday my husband and I hopped a flight from home (Denver) to San Francisco for a fun filled get-away weekend. We walked through North Beach, caught a show, and took a limo ride through wine country. At the end of the whirl-wind trip we left San Francisco and headed for the mile high, exhausted from a great vacation and happy to be returning home. Now at nearly 36 it's all turned around. Denver is now the vacation destination and Berkeley is "home".
Except it's not. Not yet anyways. The feeling of home struck me as soon as I saw the silly roof top of DIA, designed to look like the peaks of the rocky mountains. I have experienced the comfortable sense of belonging throughout this entire brief journey.
We are staying at a friend's home, about a half mile from our old house. These aren't just any pals of course. This is Darren & Shannon and their two little boys who are some of our very closest friends. Being in their home is strange only because although we have spent countless hours here in the past, we never had cause to sleepover, until now. On Thursday morning I awoke to the sounds of our kids at the breakfast table. I said a quick hello and then threw on my running shoes and went for a jog. I was dying to see the old neighborhood. So I ran along Bryant street and was happy to see that everything looked very much the same. When I arrived at our old block it felt as though no time had passed at all. The Fletter's had their beautiful garden in full bloom. The Fischer's had election signs posted on their perfectly manicured lawn. Parked on the Stevenson's front porch was that same orange stroller.
Then there was our house. It felt as though I should just be able to walk right in and see it as it once was. But of course I couldn't. So I just stood there a while and looked at the two story Victorian that we bought when I was four months pregnant with Zachary. It was my dream home at the time. An enormous kitchen, modern bathrooms (did I mention that there were four of them?), a walk in closet and a master bedroom. Over time, I found reasons to complain about it, but knowing what I know now, after living in a 1200 square foot split level, I would do anything to have that cabinet space back.
Besides it was home. It was the the setting for countless holidays and birthday parties, playgroups and barbeque's. It is the house we bought to raise our family. Now we are renting it out to three single ladies who have no need for a nursery painted in "Christopher Robin's Swing" green.
Standing there, I wanted to run up and hug that house, if I could. Just throw myself at it and wrap my arms around it's four walls wailing "It was all a big mistake"
This trip has been amazing, but far too fast. I have seen many of my girlfriends over the past two days and I have been hearten to feel that after almost a year, I could fit right back in with them. We had a playgroup, and last night went out for a girls night out at Lola's one of my very favorite spots. The conversation was hurried, for there was so much to catch up on, but easy and comfortable. No-getting-to-know-you small talk, because we all had years of history under our belts.
Tomorrow I will go to see my sister and nephews and then head up the winding roads of Golden Gate Canyon to see my father and stepmother. Monday morning we leave for Berkeley. For our new "home". I remind myself that it isn't so bad. We have had all kinds of adventures in the bay area, work is good and we have met lovely people. In time perhaps, Berkeley could actually be home. Perhaps.
For now though, Denver has my heart.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Snacks packed. Check
More snacks packed in secret places. Check
DVD player charged. Check
Book tucked in carry-on bag. Check. (Insert wild laughter here, as if I have any chance of reading even a chapter)
Extra-Strength Tylenol packed for anticipated hangover and mama meltdown. Check
Mr. Brown Doggie & Nodders (Zack's new self-named stuffed kangaroo toy) in car. Check.
Ninety-Nine-Ten (Evan's self-named stuffed kangaroo toy, and no I am not making it up) in car. Check.
Dog sitter arranged. Check.
Prayer said for good weather. Check
Arrangements made to see as many friends and family as possible in four short days. Check.
Guess we are out of here! See you all next week!
Monday, July 5, 2010
So this morning, once again my trusted helper Zachary selected a name out of a hat. If I ever get more entries I will have to resort to a more sophisticated and efficient method, but for now this works just fine.
So the lucky winner is Marlin! Marlin please email me ASAP with you name and address so I can send you the birdie earrings. You have until June 7, and then I will be drawing another winner.
For all the rest of you thanks for playing, and one more plug for Gabby Goo. Check them out on line! Beautiful earrings, great baby trinkets and very affordable!
Sunday, July 4, 2010
These points I stick with:
- Your winters for lack of a more elegant word, SUCK.
- I hate football, so therefor I could not care less about the Packers, and I will never understand the die hard fans wearing yellow foam blocks of cheese on their heads in 18 degree weather, but to each their own.
- Vilas Zoo isn't all that great.
These points I need to clarify:
- When I declared that I was living in a sea of reserved blonds, it sounded like much more of an insult than I intended it to. Ahh, the power of words. As one of my very best friends pointed out she is "reserved" and blond (and by the way she one of the most beautiful head's of hair I have seen in my life). It wasn't meant as an insult, more an observation of differing cultures. I am a loud, emotional, center-of-attention kind of girl, and I believe that it is in, part cultural. There seem to be fewer people "like me" in the Midwest.
- There are many things to love about both Madison and Minneapolis, and I will always be happy that I had the experience of living there.
- I am just happy not to be living there anymore.
P.S. In my original post I forgot to mention one thing that I do not miss about those sticky summers, and my piece would not be complete without noting the mosquitoes. The mosquito bites all over your body. Itching. The stinky smell of OFF. Itching. Need I say more?
Oh, but back to my apology. Madison, Minneapolis, all of my readers who happen to be self-described "Cheese Heads", I hold a dear place in my heart for you. I like cheese. I like cheese curds. I like lakes and the sounds of crickets at night. I like nice people. I am not ashamed that I was born in Wisconsin. I am proud of my Midwestern roots, and if I offended you, I sincerely hope you will forgive me. Or at least keep reading my blog.