Friday, August 22, 2014

Driving to Cali

Driving for hours, and I wasn’t bored for a moment.  I brought the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle pages and a bright green pen, along with a paperback and my Kindle. I never felt the need for more than the occasional clue.  It’s not the prettiest part of America, but it held my attention for seven hours.

It rained for a while.  TBG and I agreed that new windshield wipers are nearly as wonderful as new tires, and the only thing more wonderful than new tires is that new car smell.  We had it all and we were happy.

We became connoisseurs of road surfaces.  I pretended I was in an off-road vehicle as their tracks across the open space provided the road map for my fantasy.  We had a Coleman cooler filled with ice tea on the floor behind the driver’s seat and my sneakers stowed neatly beneath my own seat.

Mr. I Am Too Nervous To Be Anything But The Driver” mentioned the possibility of my getting behind the wheel, but thus far it’s only been another fantasy.  That’s fine with me. I have no responsibilities except navigation, and with my phone and the car’s user friendly nav system, I can pretty much relax in my chair.  After all, the directions begin by telling us to get on I-10 and continue to California.

We had lunch at Gramma’s Kitchen, right off the highway and the only locally created restaurant along the route.  Aptly named for most of the thoughts occupying my mind, every single bite tasted exactly the way I expected.  The perfect club sandwich, with a crisp pickle and exquisite steak fries in front of me, TBG’s burger had absolutely scrumptious onion rings… and eat local had a whole new meaning as we entered the highway behind a dual-bed-trailer-truck filled to its netted brim and back with fresh, yellow, onions.

California had pockets of congestion, but for some reason they were all headed east as we sped west.  There were no tolls, the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and now we’re relaxing in a corner room on the third floor overlooking a lovely drooping palm’s fronds whose rustling we can hear through the window which opens. California air smells good.

This is a really nice anniversary weekend trip.  Tomorrow we get to see our boy, and friends he’s had for almost half his life.  There will be a wedding and a drive home and then life will pick up a more regular pace.  For now, though, we’re enjoying this end of the summer sojourn.
Driving for hours, and I wasn’t bored for a moment.  I brought the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle pages and a bright green pen, along with a paperback and my Kindle. I never felt the need for more than the occasional clue.  It’s not the prettiest part of America, but it held my attention for seven hours.

It rained for a while.  TBG and I agreed that new windshield wipers are nearly as wonderful as new tires, and the only thing more wonderful than new tires is that new car smell.  We had it all and we were happy.

We became connoisseurs of road surfaces.  I pretended I was in an off-road vehicle as their tracks across the open space provided the road map for my fantasy.  We had a Coleman cooler filled with ice tea on the floor behind the driver’s seat and my sneakers stowed neatly beneath my own seat.

Mr. I Am Too Nervous To Be Anything But The Driver” mentioned the possibility of my getting behind the wheel, but thus far it’s only been another fantasy.  That’s fine with me. I have no responsibilities except navigation, and with my phone and the car’s user friendly nav system, I can pretty much relax in my chair.  After all, the directions begin by telling us to get on I-10 and continue to California.

We had lunch at Gramma’s Kitchen, right off the highway and the only locally created restaurant along the route.  Aptly named for most of the thoughts occupying my mind, every single bite tasted exactly the way I expected.  The perfect club sandwich, with a crisp pickle and exquisite steak fries in front of me, TBG’s burger had absolutely scrumptious onion rings… and eat local had a whole new meaning as we entered the highway behind a dual-bed-trailer-truck filled to its netted brim and back with fresh, yellow, onions.

California had pockets of congestion, but for some reason they were all headed east as we sped west.  There were no tolls, the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and now we’re relaxing in a corner room on the third floor overlooking a lovely drooping palm’s fronds whose rustling we can hear through the window which opens. California air smells good.

This is a really nice anniversary weekend trip.  Tomorrow we get to see our boy, and friends he’s had for almost half his life.  There will be a wedding and a drive home and then life will pick up a more regular pace.  For now, though, we’re enjoying this end of the summer sojourn.
Driving for hours, and I wasn’t bored for a moment.  I brought the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle pages and a bright green pen, along with a paperback and my Kindle. I never felt the need for more than the occasional clue.  It’s not the prettiest part of America, but it held my attention for seven hours.

It rained for a while.  TBG and I agreed that new windshield wipers are nearly as wonderful as new tires, and the only thing more wonderful than new tires is that new car smell.  We had it all and we were happy.

We became connoisseurs of road surfaces.  I pretended I was in an off-road vehicle as their tracks across the open space provided the road map for my fantasy.  We had a Coleman cooler filled with ice tea on the floor behind the driver’s seat and my sneakers stowed neatly beneath my own seat.

Mr. I Am Too Nervous To Be Anything But The Driver” mentioned the possibility of my getting behind the wheel, but thus far it’s only been another fantasy.  That’s fine with me. I have no responsibilities except navigation, and with my phone and the car’s user friendly nav system, I can pretty much relax in my chair.  After all, the directions begin by telling us to get on I-10 and continue to California.

We had lunch at Gramma’s Kitchen, right off the highway and the only locally created restaurant along the route.  Aptly named for most of the thoughts occupying my mind, every single bite tasted exactly the way I expected.  The perfect club sandwich, with a crisp pickle and exquisite steak fries in front of me, TBG’s burger had absolutely scrumptious onion rings… and eat local had a whole new meaning as we entered the highway behind a dual-bed-trailer-truck filled to its netted brim and back with fresh, yellow, onions.

California had pockets of congestion, but for some reason they were all headed east as we sped west.  There were no tolls, the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and now we’re relaxing in a corner room on the third floor overlooking a lovely drooping palm’s fronds whose rustling we can hear through the window which opens. California air smells good.

This is a really nice anniversary weekend trip.  Tomorrow we get to see our boy, and friends he’s had for almost half his life.  There will be a wedding and a drive home and then life will pick up a more regular pace.  For now, though, we’re enjoying this end of the summer sojourn.
Driving for hours, and I wasn’t bored for a moment.  I brought the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle pages and a bright green pen, along with a paperback and my Kindle. I never felt the need for more than the occasional clue.  It’s not the prettiest part of America, but it held my attention for seven hours.

It rained for a while.  TBG and I agreed that new windshield wipers are nearly as wonderful as new tires, and the only thing more wonderful than new tires is that new car smell.  We had it all and we were happy.

We became connoisseurs of road surfaces.  I pretended I was in an off-road vehicle as their tracks across the open space provided the road map for my fantasy.  We had a Coleman cooler filled with ice tea on the floor behind the driver’s seat and my sneakers stowed neatly beneath my own seat.

Mr. I Am Too Nervous To Be Anything But The Driver” mentioned the possibility of my getting behind the wheel, but thus far it’s only been another fantasy.  That’s fine with me. I have no responsibilities except navigation, and with my phone and the car’s user friendly nav system, I can pretty much relax in my chair.  After all, the directions begin by telling us to get on I-10 and continue to California.

We had lunch at Gramma’s Kitchen, right off the highway and the only locally created restaurant along the route.  Aptly named for most of the thoughts occupying my mind, every single bite tasted exactly the way I expected.  The perfect club sandwich, with a crisp pickle and exquisite steak fries in front of me, TBG’s burger had absolutely scrumptious onion rings… and eat local had a whole new meaning as we entered the highway behind a dual-bed-trailer-truck filled to its netted brim and back with fresh, yellow, onions.

California had pockets of congestion, but for some reason they were all headed east as we sped west.  There were no tolls, the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and now we’re relaxing in a corner room on the third floor overlooking a lovely drooping palm’s fronds whose rustling we can hear through the window which opens. California air smells good.

This is a really nice anniversary weekend trip.  Tomorrow we get to see our boy, and friends he’s had for almost half his life.  There will be a wedding and a drive home and then life will pick up a more regular pace.  For now, though, we’re enjoying this end of the summer sojourn.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

On The Road Again

Big Cuter's friends are getting married. TBG and I are the only parents of friends who were invited.  It's an honor we couldn't refuse and so, today, Mr. I Hate Hotels and I are packing and planning for a road trip.

He's got a brand new BMW 435i, dubbed FlapJilly's Uncle Beemer by Little Cuter, which is clean and shiny and ready to roll.  His knee is acting up, he's anxious about travel, and I'm trying to ignore the angst and concentrate on the adventure .... and on the love at the end.

It's been much too long since I've seen my son; I'm looking forward to lots of big hugs and long talks and leisurely walks.  He has no compunctions about straightening my gait and complimenting me when I self-correct; it's physical therapy with lots of love and it makes me very happy.

It's a two day drive to Carmel, the destination wedding's destination.  We cross Arizona, eschewing the no-tell-motels in Quartzite.  On our first drive to Tucson we spent seven miserable hours in the best place we could find, wearing protective clothing on every body part which might touch a surface in the room.  We checked out as the sun rose.  Now, more seasoned travelers on that route, we know to climb The Grapevine and sleep in Valencia.

You can see Valencia from a long way away, because the roller coasters at Six Flags tower over the landscape.  But first, you have to go over The Grapevine. 

Did I mention that TBG and I spent several hours at a rest stop on The Grapevine, watching his overheated brand new Mercedes gasp for air, waiting for the tow truck, going back down into the valley from whence we'd driven only hours before, leaving that car and piling into my little Honda v-tech hatchback ... and sleeping in Valencia?

The California Department of Transportation describes it as 40 miles of concrete, a twisty, curvy eight lane highway that has a dramatic 6% downhill grade terminating at the community of Grapevine.  Google Maps tells us that the village consists mainly of roadside services.  For us, it's a place to pull off and stretch our legs after negotiating the descent from Fort Tejon,  4,183 feet above us. 

Without the 19,000 big rigs Caltrans estimates travels this road daily, it might be lots of fun. The scenery is magnificent, the air is cool and crisp (if it's not raining), and the road surface makes a pleasant hum.  If I ignore the trucks pull out here if brakes fail lanes (they go uphill on the mountain side of the highway and end in giant sand walls), if I close my eyes when we are passed on the left and the right by giant metal boxes, if I can take deep breaths and count on TBG to be the safe and careful driver I know he is, I'm fine.

There are times when the flatness of the Midwest is very appealing.

But I won't be behind the wheel.  Of that we can be certain.  When we drove from Tucson to Chicago I was the pilot for exactly 60 miles .... between one rest stop and the next .... as my most reluctant passenger refused to close his eyes and sleep .... because he couldn't relax with someone else driving.  He drove thousands of miles, without complaint.  I read. I looked out the window.  It worked for us then and it works for us now.

Valencia is a creation of its location.  The frontage road of I-5 is chock-a-block with hotels of every affinity group imaginable.  There are four Marriott brands alone. I'm torn between the free breakfast and WiFi at the Fairfield Inn and the newly renovated rooms at the Courtyard.  Since we'll be traveling through town again on the way home, I suppose I could use both of them. 

Such are the decisions facing me.  They are nice problems to have.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Lincoln Park Zoo

The most fabulous picture I ever took of Big Cuter and The Bride happened there.
They were smiling and looking wide eyed because a pigeon had just pooped into Seret's long, luscious, curly, tangle of hair and I was taking pictures instead of helping her clean it out.
 
Thirty years later, all on my own, I could find the restrooms
still behind the sundial, inside, and down the stairs,
and I could watch the pretty pink birds for as long as I wanted
without having to explain why they have orange feathers
or why I insist that they are pink.
 
I can watch the camels recline 
and admire their grace as they lower themselves, slowly and carefully placing first one hump and then the other on the ground, in the shade
or in a pool of water, clear enough to reflect the sunlight 
and there was no reason to move on until I wanted to see something else.
 
Like the apes' indoor/outdoor habitat.
The indoor part is the white building on the right.
I like the swings and the netting and the greenery outside.
They are magnificent creatures, 
alarmingly like ourselves.
I moved on, unwilling to think deep thoughts.
 
I found a bench next to Hans Christian Andersen
opened a novel, and watched families and lovers and animals on leashes.
 
It was a beautiful afternoon.
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lincoln Park, Revisited

It's my favorite place in my favorite city. 

It was when I moved there in 1973 and it was when I was cruising downtown two weekends ago.  I always find a perfect parking spot.
Charo the Car-O in the first free space across from the old Academy of Sciences.
I'm never disappointed.  I'm usually surprised.  I'm happy with whatever is in front of me ... and there's a lot in front of me.

After lunch with my cousin once removed (thank you, Dr's N for the relationship information), I tried to link up with old friends.  They were, unfortunately for me, on their way to a wedding.  The Realtor wasn't ready to receive me until 5pm.  I had a block of time and no place to go.  The Zoo called my name.

I had my phone/camera, a water bottle, and comfortable shoes.  There's no charge to enter the animal paradise, nor for walking on the
Yes, the murky pond on which The Cuters and I would take paddle boats on lazy summer afternoons is now a nature preserve.


We would rest under the overpass, cooling our sunbaked selves.
Now, there is this:
I took a photo of two little naturalists observing the pond scum, but their parental units were appalled.  I deleted the offending photo, apologized profusely for including their children's backs in my picture, and continued my walk.  Really, there were no identifying markers... only the backs of t-shirts and shorts .... they were a colorful blot in the bottom corner of the photograph.... but I was not out to make anyone uncomfortable.... even myself.
 
I can always count on Chicago to fill my need for thick greenery.  Urbs in Horto is the city's motto, and it certainly is a garden in a city up there on the north side of town.







There were settings for wedding photos, and the sweaty bridal party proved my point.
They were leaving this planted just for them area as I arrived.
Perspiration is not a good look
This metal arch is further into the park, but a prettier venue, I think. 
After following the half mile Nature Trail, I entered the Zoo.
Come back tomorrow for that part of my adventure.

The Abdication of Responsibility

I admit that I never heard the hoopla.  I'm catching up well after the fact.  Perhaps that's a good thing; initial reports so often are fast and inaccurate.  Still, it was a bit disconcerting to find out how much I had missed.

No, Brother informed me, Ferguson was not a person.

Rather, it was a town in turmoil.  I'd been in total baby mode; the news which interested me was related to a seven pound human.  If it wasn't FJ-centric, I didn't notice it.  The kids, used to catching up on current events on their phones, never had the news on the television. Newspapers are an anachronism in their suburban neighborhood.  I listened to country music on their XM radio in the car.  I was cut off.  I didn't care.

Then, the kids went out on a post-baby-first-date.  Brother and I were providing child care; once FJ fell asleep and the left-over pizza was boxed up in the refrigerator, I put Daddooooo's favorite talking head, Gwen Ifill, on the screen.

Forty minutes later, I stopped listening and began fuming.

I listened to talking heads debate the merits of reallocating Iraq war machines to local police departments. Free toys for big boys.... what else will we do with them... they are frightening in a ring city outside St. Louis ... I still didn't know what all the fuss was about.  They'd moved on to analysis.  I was in search of facts.

So, I surfed the interwebs.  I found video of a big guy pushing a little guy.  I read his name has not been released on the scroll beneath the video of young people walking with their arms upraised, in surrender. Their faces did not reflect the passivity of their poses.  I went to The Times of London's coverage, hoping that distance would bring perspective.

I went searching for information, for something upon which to base an opinion.  I could feel the outrage.  I could imagine the fear.  I agreed with Brenda Starr that The Media and The Police and The Protesters were figments of the public imagination, that each broad category was made up of distinct individuals, that painting a picture with a broad brush was unfortunate, insulting, and lazy behavior.  I'm making her stance more stridently than she did.  By the time I got to her post on Facebook, my brains were exploding.

No one could tell me what happened.  The crime scene was destroyed.  Public officials were opaque in their statements.  The shining light in all of this, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, left me, for a moment or two, with a smile.  He took responsibility.  He apologized.  He worked the crowd.  He was one of them. Those were facts I could hold onto.

And then I found another fact.  The Ferguson Public Schools are now unaccredited.  It just happened and it was coming for a while and it's been happening in a number of districts around St. Louis and those are all facts but what really got me was what it said to the kids and what it said about the grown ups.

I can't imagine that happening when parents are involved.  I cannot imagine a situation where the education offered by a public school district and accepted by the families who attend does not meet the basic standards set by the state... and where, unlike Arizona's policy that, as Brenda Starr opined over omelettes this morning, allows you to open a charter school in an abandoned Dunkin Donut shop, those options are not as easily attainable ... and where surrounding districts have the option to refuse students whose parents are invested enough to try an inter-district transfer.

If we treat kids like trash, how dare we expect them to shine as adults.

If we don't provide the basics, the things we watch Sally Struthers cry about with third world babies crawling at her feet, if we are so inured to the inevitability of poverty and rage without looking at the most basic underpinnings, if we can't send them into the future with the tools they need to survive, then I don't see how we can complain when they act out.

I hate that this is the fact I found.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Girls

They are asleep on the couch.  Brother and SIR are watching the Cubs lose to the Brewers, I'm typing to you, Thomas the Wonder Dog is sleeping in the sunshine, and the stars of the show are out for the count.

It's an exhausting time.  Little Cuter likes her rest and she's not getting very much of it these days.  She's typically in bed by 9:30 at night.  That seems to be when FlapJilly decides it's time to boogie.  She's not a cranky baby, she's just awake and alert and ready to enjoy human interactions.

Unfortunately, her paternal adult human has to leave for work by 7:30 in the morning, and her maternal adult human does not do well when operating on fumes.  Enter Grandma.

It took them a while to recognize the value of an adult who was in the house and willing to hold a squirming infant at 4 a.m.  In the beginning, I was responsible for keeping Thomas calm and peaceful and far away from the she-finally-fell-asleep child.  That was complicated by the thunder and lightning which punctuated most of FlapJilly's first week of life.  He's a scared beast, cowering and barking and shivering in terror.  These behaviors are not conducive to continued slumber.

"Never wake a sleeping baby" is one piece of advice I felt comfortable giving.  Now that she is eating so well and gaining weight so rapidly, there is no reason to rouse her and feed her.  She's making her own schedule.  Unfortunately, that schedule does not align with that of her grown-ups.  

My plan was always to be the backstop.  I'd hold the baby while her mom showered, or napped, or pruned the hydrangea.  They didn't have to worry about me; I was storing up memories for the days and weeks between my visits.  I promised that I would nap when I could, that I would ask for time off if I needed it, that I would not overdo.

I've held up my end of the bargain.  They had a hard time relinquishing their squishy love bug.  She's so delicious.  They didn't want to wake me.  But, after a night or two of intermittent cat naps followed by an early morning wake up call, SIR was beginning to look green in the gills.  And so, a few days ago, there was a tentative knock on my door.  

My girl was holding her girl, several bottles of breast milk, diapers, wipes and a swaddling blanket. Would I take her?  

Yes.

She was alert, awake, and ready to listen to me.  I sang her her very own songs, thanking Frank Loesser for loving her name as much as we do.  I recited Mother Goose.  I told her a revisionist version of Rapunzel, where the crafty prisoner climbs down her own hair and saves herself.  I put her between the safety of my bowed legs and lay back, closing my eyes while she dozed.  She wasn't rolling anywhere that I couldn't feel first.  

It was heavenly.

She awoke and I fed her and we burped together.  A new diaper made her much less fussy and then we were back to singing and talking and planning all the trouble we'll get into once she's more of a participant and less of a curiosity.  The hours passed.  We nodded off, then awoke to find one another.

Did I mention that it was wonderful?

By the time my girl was ready to greet the day, it was 10 am.  She'd showered and dressed and was standing in my doorway, wondering if the rest of us were ready to play.

There's not very much I can do to smooth the wrinkles of early parenthood.  It's nice that one of those things brings me so much joy.  Now, it's time to finish dusting and folding the laundry and vacuum the house before I get on a plane home.  

I hope they can manage without me.... and that I can manage without them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Random Thoughts - The Grandmother Edition

I hold her for hours.  She's peaceful on my chest, or on her father's chest, or on my daughter's chest. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can align her heart right over my own.  Hers is strong and fast and deep. Mine is nearly bursting.
*****
Little Cuter and her fancy camera take much better pictures than the in-hospital photographer.  I think the difference is that her lens is using the love filter.

We place FlapJilly on different blankets and quilts thrown not-quite-carelessly over the Boppy pillow and her mother coos at her and her furry brother nuzzles her and I can't get enough of it.

It's okay.  My own personal Annie Liebovitz takes two or three hundred shots at a time.  We have lots to choose from.
*****
When Big Cuter was a newborn, the 1-hour-photo-shop offered a free 5X7 print every month. To its regular customers, new parents all, this was a godsend.  We had validation for our photographic mania, proof that the money we'd spent on those expensive Nikon SLR's with the telephoto lenses were worth every penny.

Our only choice in the matter was glossy or matte finish.

I've spent the last two weeks watching my daughter work her Mac Magic on FlapJilly's portraits.  It's free ... it's easy ... it's fun ... and the results are beautiful.
*****
Everyone's grandchild is perfect.  I accept this.  As TBG opines, the bigger the amplitude of the situation, the more intensely individual the response is.  There is no room for judgment; there is only acceptance.

Still, I can't help bragging, just a little.  I can't resist sharing her photos on my phone with cashiers and fellow patrons.  I come home and tell her about my adventures.  She doesn't seem to mind being the center of all this attention.

That's a good thing.  I have no intention of stopping.
*****
The kids came home from the first appointment with their chosen pediatrician, and they were beaming.  "Look how good she looks!  Look at her color!" Those were the first words the new parents heard.  It only got better from there.

At the end, she told them that whatever they were doing seemed to be working; her only advice was to keep on doing it.

It's like getting straight A's ... and knowing you'd been rewarded for putting in the hard work.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rest In Peace

Robin Williams.... Lauren Bacall ... Little Cuter is wondering who will be next.  "These things always seem to come in threes," she told SIR ... as I nodded agreement from the other end of the couch.

I could write about depression and addiction and the empty feeling in the pit of your stomach when there doesn't seem to be any escape.

I could write about a long life well lived and a peaceful death, leaving caring family behind.

I could, but I won't.  The interwebs are filled with mournful posts.  Cartoonists are drawing blue genies hugging princes.  There's not a lot left to say.

I'm feeling the losses and remembering my own.  G'ma, like Bacall, a sad but not tragic event.  CTG, like Robin Williams, gone too soon.  It's like ripping a bandaid off a not-quite-healed wound; the pain is close to the surface.

I mourn the fact that FlapJilly will never know any of them.  She'll never pass Robin Williams on the bike path in Tiburon.  She'll never encounter Lauren Bacall on 5th Avenue.  She and G'ma will never sit in the bleachers and watch Christina-Taylor pitch a perfect game. That's a lot of never in one day.

It's the finality that gets to me.

I still want to turn into the pod-castle and watch tv with my mom.  I liked the fantasy of hearing Betty Bacall's throaty voice on the other side of a booth in a Manhattan cafe.  As teens, The Twins played tennis with Robin Williams's mother; she and I stood next to one another as they drove by in the 8th grade graduation parade, waving with pride.  That's as close as I came to her son, but she was not stingy with stories that night.

I can't begin to list the times I miss Christina.

The January 8th Foundation is creating an oral history of those who were there that day.  My interview is scheduled and my anxiety is growing.  Talking about it makes it very real all over again.  It takes days and days and many tears before I can find, once again,  a comfortable place for the memories.

I'd rather let them all rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Soft Opening

The Realtor and I went clubbing on Saturday night.

She'd found the manger and his wife the perfect condo in The West Loop, and they invited her and a guest as a thank you.  Since I was spending the night in her townhouse, I was the obvious choice as a date.

She dressed me in Chicago appropriate attire, replacing my Anthropologie polka dotted purse for a white Bally bag for which she'd paid too much money. Mine was too big for the slinky cotton dress she'd decided was the best of the outfits I'd brought into the City.  She was gracious enough to avoid snarky comments about my luggage, at least.  The Big Brown Bag which contained the baby clothes we'd purchased at Bloomingdales together the week before had been repurposed as a weekend suitcase.
In what used to be called Greek Town, west of the Dan Ryan, south of what used to be the Cabrini-Green housing projects, a trendy new neighborhood has arisen.  SRO's are now luxury condos.  There are hipsters on the sidewalks, strolling between bars and restaurants.  In this melange, SoHo House opened.

Proving how far from the in-crowd I am, the name was unknown to me.  According to their website, Soho House was founded in London, in 1995, as a private members' club for those in film, media and creative industries. It's a membership community, with an application process, annual dues, and a lovely variety of amenities available to those who are accepted into the fold.

We were not in the demographic they seemed to be seeking.

Living in Tucson, I'm used to being surrounded by people of a certain age.  They were no where to be seen on Saturday night.  Instead, we were in the company of twenty and thirty somethings, patrons and employees alike.  Everyone was very glad to see us, but when the first floor hostess/manager recognized The Realtor and confirmed it by asking if my friend was Berco's mom, our place in the universe was established.

I didn't mind looking like everyone's grandmother; I had the baby pictures to verify my status. I found that young people are as interested in my granddaughter as are my peers.  Flapjilly's photos were quite popular for a brief moment in time.

We ordered cocktails and watched the crowd, then climbed the stairs to Pizzaeast.  We were one of two tables at 7pm; by 8 the room was full.  At a soft opening, not every item on the menu is available.  On the other hand, everything was half price.  I'd eaten a small lunch many hours before our reservation and, for once, my eyes were not bigger than my stomach.  We finished everything we ordered... and we ordered a lot.

Broccolini with crema, fried chicken livers over mashed potatoes, wood-fired pizza with lamb meatballs and prosciutto ... those were the starters.  We forgave the server for bringing our salmon entree while all the rest of the food was still on the table, but we did send it back.  We weren't ready for it.  There was no room on the table.

Halfway through the starters, the happy resident of the condo The Realtor had found showed up at our table.  Although she was busy managing the chicken restaurant on the other side of the second floor, she took the time to find us, to thank The Realtor profusely, and to pour us the first of many glasses of a bottle of Prosecco she was gifting to us.

I am much too old to finish half a bottle of sparkling wine, especially after finishing a vodka cocktail. We did our best, sharing with the twenty-somethings at the table to our right.  They were delighted, and I attribute my lack of a hangover the next morning to our generosity.  I did sleep for twelve hours, though.

There was a private party upstairs in the Club, but try as she might The Realtor could not wrangle us a place on the guest list.  That was fine with me; the room was slightly spinning as the valet brought the car around.

Those with whom I've shared the story are very impressed; Soho House is apparently a very big deal here.  For me, the joy was in the newness, the crispness, the working out the kinks of a brand new and bound to be successful venture.  And the best part was celebrating The Realtor's birthday with a true blow-out.

Life is good.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Over and Over and Over Again

We started at 7 am.  I was showered and dressed and ready for the day, and so were my girls.  Little Cuter was asleep on the long piece of Cozy Rosie, the couch, and FlapJilly was in her infant Boppy pillow, zoned out as well.  Law and Order: Special Victims Unit was on the tv.

It stayed there all day.

The girls roused themselves and at and bathed and slept some more.  There were some explosive diaper adventures from the littlest one, and an ongoing battle with the stain it created on the muslin baby blanket for me, the Laundry Wench.  I worked a crossword puzzle or two, I stared lovingly at my favorite females, and Olivia and Casey and Elliott were the background.

TBG and I stopped watching Law'n several years ago, when Elliott's manhandling of suspects became too much for my darling husband to bear.  He hates seeing men acting badly; when they are wearing a badge it's even worse.  After I intersected with bullets, gunfire on tv was more than I could stand... and Law'n has a lot of gunfire.

I really didn't miss it.  We replaced it with NCIS ("the most initials on television," as our favorite commercial named it).  When I needed a fix, I'd visit G'ma.  Law'n is the perfect show for a gently demented person; it follows a predictable pattern and the same faces keep popping up.  We'd watch an episode or two together, feeling content, talking through the details because it really didn't matter.

Since she's been gone, I haven't seen a single show.  I more than made up for it last week.  It made me laugh.

I never understood how the kids could watch the same movie over and over and over again.  Dumbo, while Little Cuter recuperated from chicken pox.  The Lorax when Big Cuter was two - so often that he memorized it and left me with the biggest regret of his childhood... I didn't videotape it.  Parent Trap got us through Little Cuter's twelfth year of life.

And then, there's my husband, who is addicted to National Treasure.  Nicholas Cage makes my skin crawl, but the man with whom I live loves the film, so I suffer beside him.  Lately, I've been concentrating on the music, asking what instrument makes what sound.  I'm loving the french horns the most.

I read and re-read and re-re-read Little Women in the sixth grade.  It's the only book which affected me that way.  I can watch The Big Sleep and Casablanca and His Girl Friday whenever they show up on the tube, but I'd never start it all over again once THE END appeared on the screen.  Once is enough in one night.

Is there some significance to this?  I doubt it.  I just thought I'd share the thoughts.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Five Star Friday