Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pimp My Pool

We live in on an island in the East Bay, near San Francisco, and are fortunate enough to have a pool in our backyard. The biggest struggle, once you get past the freezing cold water, is figuring out how to use the space when the the pool extends practically to the property line. The Indian Summers do allow for a long 6 month seasonal opportunity when to share the space with our friends and family. Despite my efforts, we currently lack proper seating areas, proper toy storage and a solar heating solution that's working well enough for anyone over the age of 18 to attempt to swim. Help! We really need a water rescue here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


You know what brings me a bit of pleasure? When I click over to another blog and it hasn't been updated in long time. Ah-ha! I think, I'm not the only one.

I've been working. That went somewhat poorly.

I've been having friends over. I like the ones that want to sit outside and bring chicken.

The girls went back to school and I'm on the board of the PTA. Madam Secretary. I've also volunteered to chair the MathBlasters fundraiser. Raise your hand if you just spewed coffee out of your nose?

Tomorrow the girls audition for another local childrens' theater production. My mouth, my wallet and my sense of well-being all just collectively tensed up. I can't wait to take a clandestine photo of the board president and all the unbelievably bitchy things she does. During the Ramona production she "bipped" my youngest atop her precious head and I was able to hold my tongue. She also used the phrase "it's not rocket science, ladies" as I assembled the cast photos onto the bulletin board. Oh, Ms. President- i'mma gonna get on your good side. And refill my prescriptions.

Erik returned from burning man with all of my possessions: my bike, my vintage cooler, my hula hoop...what else did he take? Erik is fond of saying two phrases when it comes to spending money:

1) Buy the best and you'll never be disappointed.

2) It would be a bargain at twice the price.

Burning man however, cost more than 3 times what he had estimated. He's glad he went, but he's not ready to commit to next year. But he was going to turn 40...someday.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I Wore

I just ran to catch the 7:00 pm bus. I think running through the streets of San Francisco in my work attire with my laptop flapping about and raggedy old Kate Spade bag swinging side to side is really one of my better looks. What with the ill fitting bra and the awkward gait, it's got to be captured and uploaded as my profile picture to Facebook immediately.

Today I am rocking a new pair of corduroy pants. I was pleasantly surprised when I put them on for the first time in the safety of my own home. They're kind of that greenish/pea soup color. I was having a conversation with my husband, Erik, actually I was trying to crouch a complaint in an Hannah Montana analogy.

Me: You know how Miley will hear something she doesn't understand and thenspout out a long string of nonsense followed by a Say What?!??

To which he immediately replied: Girl-in-the-blinding-bright-yellow-pants-say-what?!??

I love that he knew what I was talking about even though most of the time I loathe everything on the Disney Channel. Loved it so much, I forgot to drive home my point about how I was irritated that he hadn't gone out of his way to make my life easier. Erik left for Burning Man today.

So I was feeling rather dapper in yeller pants. Then at work another freelancer who claimed he remembered me from back in the day. The day being the sometime in the late 1990's, he went on further to recall an image of me "wearing overalls."


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things That Make Me Go Arrrgggghhhhh!!!

There's usually a myriad of things that get under my skin on any given day. I work hard to let them slide. Let me type a few out for you so they can instantly transform into the trivial. Sometimes when I talk to my friends (magic days) I'll be rattling off a story of the latest and greatest injustice against me and just by listening to my own words I'm able to see the ridiculousness. Just a bit. Like a speck.

#1 -- My landlord is lackadaisical about cashing the rent check. Seems like no big deal, right? But this is NorCal akin to NYC. Our rent is a huge chunk of the budget. It would be so much easier if I could just slide a briefcase full of money under their door. Or even better, can't they just deposit the check. It makes me feel like they don't need the money. And I get such a charge seeing the checking balance so high mid-month. (Don't be all judgey that I'm a renter. They're predicting that the piece of land my house sits on will be underwater in the next 20-50 years, that is if the The BIG One doesn't hit first or the whole state slides into the ocean.)

#2 --Two of our neighbors have three vehicles for their homes with only two licensed drivers. This sounds petty, I know. Note: they're not like two trusty commuters and then some sick vintage muscle or newfangled electric. They're three cars in pretty much the same category. Few years old, hold about 4-5 peeps. Here's the rub, the people across the street (retirees) park two cars in front of their garage. A garage that is floor to ceiling full of stuff. The third car, they park in front of my house. They don't drive the car. Ever. They don't drive the car so much that there are weeds knee high growing under it. I look out my living room window I see their car and the weeds. Maybe I should just pull them? The weeds. Or call the city and get a neon sticker slapped up on that.

UPDATE: While I was working on this post the neighbor moved the car. For the first time EVER. To his driveway to wash it. I didn't even know it ran. I don't think he thought it did either, because he kept it running while he hosed it off. I paced about trying to think of who I could call to come an park in the vacant spot. (not a magic day/no friends) I considered moving my our one and only car to the spot, but was nervous about having to talk to him about the parking predicament. So I called my mom, she has balls enough for us all on keeping people off property. While I was dialing her number, the man moved the wet car back to the spot. Dripping with water, the weeds sprouted up a few more inches before my eyes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

Erik, my husband, and I are having a problem.

It involves our pool. And summer. And friends. I want to invite people over at every opportunity and twice on tuesday and he - eh, not so much. I want to invite my mommy friends. The kids' friends. People from work. Neighbors. The guys I bought the lounge chairs from on craigslist. I've managed to squeeze in two soirees. The first Erik was charged with BBQ-ing oysters. A labor intensive and temperate gig. They were delicious. He was done. We also had people over on the 4th. I think he had fun. Maybe a whole summerful of fun.

I always heed his requests and dial back the invitations. Recently Erik expressed an interest in going out of town in August to attend a pre-season NFL game. (Raider Nation!) I rushed to secure his flight. Days later we realized there was a conflict with his plan. "Why were you in such a rush to buy the ticket?" he fussed. Truthfully - I'd already started planning the party I could throw and the people (and more people) I could invite if he was out of town.

Last night I stared wistfully at an epicurious menu. "Want to invite people over for a Mad Men themed dinner on Sunday?" I inquired. "Sure" he said, "if the people are just our family."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don't quit the day job

We're struggling with childcare. Ain't that always the way? I don't know how anyone does it actually. There's always some variable to the equation that makes me scratch my head.

The people who have parents that help out with the care. Huh, what? So completely foreign I look around for a translator.

Or how about the camps or after school programs that demand that you pick up your kids by 5:30pm? I love it when I arrive all sweaty, nervous and out of breath and the program facilitators give me the side-eye as we both watch the second hand swing to meet the twelve on the wall clock. These people seriously have no idea how I OJ Simpson my way out of the office, sprint to public transportation, jump in my car and pray for green lights to make it just in the nick of time.

The only ones who seem to have it under control or the ones that I really envy are those with a great relationship with their full time nanny and more money than they know what to do with. Currently, I've stitched together a series of day camps and a few weeks of back up childcare provided by Erik's office. (That's fancy talk for day care, but since my kids haven't ever really been to day care they actually thought it was kind of cool. Look -- that room has babies! And it was in the city, so every day they got to ride the bus or the ferry in and have lunch with Dad.)

This weeks camp ends at 4pm. Luckily, we have a friend who has been gracious enough to allow her babysitter to pick up and watch our kids until we can get home. On one hand it is a total godsend. On the other, it's got me thinking about a career change. Not really.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Creating One of THOSE Kids

My consumption of Starbucks is not out of control. It's more of an occasional treat. Depending on our work schedules, there have been times when Erik and I would stop and pick up a latte regularly. But there have also been long stretches of time where we never go.

Once, I picked the girls up from school and Hazel gasped, "You had TWO lattes?" The evidence in the cup-holders. One was her father's and he had left about 1/4 in the cup. She drank what was left in his cup and was hooked. Having outgrown the gateway kid's hot chocolate, Hazel started asking if she could have a latte on the rare occasion we all went to Starbucks.

"Don't be one of THOSE kids," her father said for my ears as well as hers. I can see his point. The only thing more annoying than overhearing ahalf-calf, non-fat, carmel, mocha, Americano, extra hot, with an extra shot and whip cream order would be having it come out of the mouth of a nine-year-old.

So it turned into something she asks for only when she is with me. She's also started liking Mocha Chip ice cream. I'm pretty sure there a group of moms that could get in a twist about me allowing my kid to order a coffee derivative flavor of ice cream on the rare occasion we go to the local parlor. Let the record show, that my mother kept ONLY Rum Raisin in her freezer the entire time I was growing up. (This may or may not have been a weight loss tactic towards me, but I'm pretty sure the message she was sending was: this ice cream is mine. Gads, do they even make Rum Raisin anymore?) But I digress.

I would like to say, a few of the Starbucks employees have tried to persuade my kid back to the heated chocolate variety. They've even given me the judgy eye the first few time I was naive enough to make the recipient known on my order. Last week we went as a family, so two kid's hot chocolates it was. But with Dad, you're allowed to pick out a pastry!! Oh. The. Excitement. Guess what Hazel choose?

The coffee cake.

Her sister is a donut kind of gal, but she was drawn to the marbled cake. As we were enjoying our breakfast, I asked Hazel how she liked hers. "It's good," she said. And then she whispered to just me, "But it doesn't taste like coffee."