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Archive for April, 2009

There are some things I feel I can’t live without, more favorite things…things I looooooove.

1) ZCover for my MacBook Pro laptop keyboard.  I bought it after J dropped a spoon of chocolate ice cream on my keyboard when we were on the island. I figured out how to pop the keys off my keyboard and clean it, but now, with the ZCover, I can eat my breakfast while hovering over my laptop. I bought one for J’s laptop too. These things can be washed with soap and water and dried and lay back down on the keyboard. I looove it.zcover_apknbnin2) The Cadbury Egg. They were on sale at the market after Easter. I decided to get six of them. They rang up full price on the register and I held up the line for ten minutes while they fixed the problem and I got my discount. I figured I would see how long I could stretch out six Cadbury Eggs. It was about three days. You do the math.

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3) My Lumix Camera. I keep it in my handbag at all times and always have it to snap shots for painting or of the kids or of J. It takes video that works like a dream. It’s currently in Europe with J, since he broke his camera and since I have three digital cameras (all for different uses) I sent him out again with my Lumix. He’s taken 280 photos so far. I think he should be a professional photographer by day and continue with the professional piano playing by night. Because he rocks at both! (who knew?)panasonic-lumix-dmc-fx55-camera-1

4) Baja Fresh. Unfortunately the one about fifteen minutes south of me off the highway is GONE. “GONE” I SAY. My friend went in to the business next door to it and asked what happened. Apparently the landlord kicks out the tenant (or raises the rent) every few years. Baja Fresh was always, always packed. And now it is gone. Our local Mexican restaurant is horridly non-Mexican, so now, I just have to make my own. (I do anyway, but still, I love me some basic Baja Fresh). It’s not the small authentic hole in the wall Mexican place I am used to from growing up in Los Angeles, but it made me happy, here on the East Coast.baja_20fresh_20logo

 

5) Herbs on a windowsill. Need I say more?  My friend, Alice, gave me this a week or so ago. It is from a plant in her garden that was her great grandfather’s. photo1

6) Wireless Router. I love to sit in bed on the computer. Or the kitchen. Or, um, sometimes even the bathroom. (come on, admit it, you’ve done that too)wireless-router

7) Smitten Kitchen

I just happen to love it. Been reading it for a long time.

8 ) The Aroundme application on my iphone. Absolutely brilliant.aroundme1

9)  Red Vines Licorice. When I was in college in the midwest, they were nowhere to be found in any stores. My dad used to send me bit barrels of them from California. Now, here on the East Coast. I can get them whenever I want. I ration them and only buy a little package when I go to a movie. (at CVS. I smuggle them into the movie theatre, shhhh don’t tell)red-vines-jar_fun-shot

10) The Beach. I spent the day there today. It was awesome.

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Well, shit.

You know, this gig has been a bitch because of the internet problems on this big boat J is on. He worked it out with the conference center to get a code every day so he can use it at 2am (when everyone on the ship is either asleep or partying) to call me at 8pm my time.

Recently, he’s been getting hassled by cleaning ladies and one particular guy who just doesn’t want to give him the code and when he does, gives him the wrong code. We’ve been grateful for the days that particular guy has not been on shift.

So, after a great clear talk last night with J on Skype, after two days of not being able to connect other than email, I get an email this afternoon from J before he went to play for his nightly gig. (email works in the mess hall for crew, but Skype doesn’t. Skype only works in the conference center) Here is just a small part of it. I am leaving out the ranting and raving about the sour-pusses who run the stuff on the boat. This was kind of the last straw for him and he sort of freaked out. (I will spare you the words he used)

“Hey Babe, You’re gonna love this one. So, today I go to the conference center to get the code. And the lady in charge says “I’m sorry we will not be giving the code to musicians anymore, they have been using too much bandwidth” . I told her that I only use the connection late at night after my gig is over. She says we can’t give it to you and not the others. She says someone has been downloading too much and it slows the connection for everyone else and subsequently that persons has ruined it for everyone else. So, I’m gonna try and take a deep breath. It’s almost time to go play in the lounge.”

GAWD. As if it wasn’t bad already!

Fortunately for me, tonight, after each hour set, he wound up in the mess hall sending me emails throughout the evening.

His last one, when his gig was over said, “When I am on land tomorrow, I will look for a cafe with an internet connection.”

What this means is that every day, he is in a port for approximately three hours. He is allowed to get off the boat and sometimes can find a place with internet. The problem is, he has to be back on the boat around 1. If he were to call me at noon his time, it is 6am here.

I don’t care. He could call me at flippin’ 4 am for all I care. Just call!

On Saturday, the boat gig will be over, it would have been a month by then. He takes a train north to the country to play in a new club for only two weeks.  So Saturday, there will likely be steady, clear internet on solid ground. Hopefully.

I love having a relationship based on Skype, emails and waiting. (not really. I prefer having it “live”. Soon. Soon.)

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The return

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I got my girls back today FINALLY after a week without them.

As much as I got done and as much as I didn’t sleep (seriously folks, a whole week and I never slept past 6am, AM I CRAZY?) and as much free time as I had, it kind of sucked as much as it was great.

Does that make sense?

It’s kind of my own version of “bittersweet”.

I did spend part of Saturday sitting on the beach in my bikini getting some color on my ass-white-ass. (okay, not literally, but got some color on my body and face, so I don’t look so, so, so….wintry….)

I painted a bunch. I hung a cork board in my studio that has been LEANING for the last three years, against the wall.

I grocery shopped. I shopped online for the girls’ spring/summer clothes…flip flops and bathing suits, included. 

My car’s air conditioning broke.

Today.

It broke on the day I had to drive an hour down the highway in 90 degree heat towards Boston (my car said it was 90 when I got to their dad’s house). I quickly was taken back to my childhood where either my parents didn’t believe in air conditioning in the car or our car just plain didn’t have one and we drove everywhere with the windows down. (yah, this was Southern California with the VW stick shift van).  

The girls weren’t used to it either, “it’s SO LOUD” they complained, the windows down all the way home. We tried rolling them up but in two seconds we were perspiring. 

I could even feel the drag on the car, having the windows down. But boy, when we got back up to the coast and the temperature was only 72, WAS I GRATEFUL TO LIVE AT THE BEACH!

As much as I would like to save the money, I am taking the car in tomorrow morning, first thing, to have it fixed.

We had a great afternoon here at home once we got here, windblown. RIGHT as I was singing to them at bedtime, a problem between two sisters erupted.

What it was, was minor. Their reactions were major. I had some mega parenting to do suddenly, after a week of eating guacamole, toast and fruit from the farmer’s market.  And watching movies in bed in my underwear while browsing the internet.

As I watched the clock tick closer to 8, knowing they somehow had to get through the week of school after going through Orlando, Florida bootcamp of dolphin swimming, theme parks and Bippity Bobbity Boutique (or whatever it’s called) I started to panic, knowing that past 8 was going to mean pure hell the next day.

In the end, I heard “I WANT DADDY” and “YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME” and “YOU NEVER CUDDLE WITH ME” and “YOU LIKE HER MORE THAN ME” and then “You’re always on your computer!” 

Tomorrow is going to be an absolute bitch. (they did fall asleep by 9)

Anyway, WELCOME HOME!

With those exclamations, I felt shot through the heart.

It’s true. Sometimes I get work coming in, in the afternoons and sometimes even weekends. I mostly save it until nighttime or when the girls are in school but on occasion, I have to respond right away. And then sometimes, it isn’t work at all, sometimes I am just plain uninspired by iCarly or Polly Pockets or whatever fight the girls are having in the hallway. And in that un-inspiration, I may place an order on Drugstore.com. Or I read blogs. Or I write a blog post. Or I return some emails.

So, sheepishly, with my tail between my legs, I have promised to cut back on computer time when the girls are home. There are exceptions though, like when they are watching television on the weekends, as long as I am sitting with them with my laptop actually on my lap, I am allowed. While they are eating or fighting or screaming at me to help them with their pajamas after their bath or even, say, when a piece of furniture has fallen atop them (just kidding, this has never happened), my computer needs to be shut off. 

I wrote this new rule, except for the exception of sitting with them when they are watching television…that was their gift back to me.

When we finally said goodnight, Red whispered, “I’m SO glad we are home now!”

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It’s my day

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Today is my 36th birthday.

My birthday is a funny thing.

I don’t tell anyone when it is. Although Facebook pretty much announces it a week in advance, so my wall kind of smothered my May 3rd art sale announcement flier that I posted. Dammit.

If they don’t remember, I don’t really think about it. I notice when my kids aren’t here for my birthday, and this is the second year in a row that they aren’t. But they remembered. I’ll be seeing them in two days again.

A few days ago, my dad called and left me a voicemail, singing “Happy Birthday”. At the end, he paused and goes, “Gosh, I hope today’s your birthday.”

It’s slightly reminiscent of how when I was a kid, my parents celebrated my birthday on the 20th instead of the 24th for YEARS before they realized they had the wrong date. Believe me, I have checked and rechecked my birth certificate…because at one point I thought something was fishy and perhaps they’d adopted me.

Unfortunately, I carry too many traits from our family to not be biologically related.

I woke up to a phone call from J. The reception was crappy, so a conversation turned into email exchanges instead. 

I HATE THIS GIG and ready for it to be over.  

I went for a walk.

UPDATE: I got an AWESOME VOICEMAIL from my most hilarious friend, Mrs. K. (see comments section)

I had coffee with one friend.

I had lunch with another.

Went for a beach walk with another.

I went to my favorite consignment store and bought absolutely nothing.

I’ve rented some movies and will be making popcorn.

I ate my last Cadbury Creme Egg. 

Do I feel older? Nope. Do I worry about my age? Hate my age? Nope.

I look at where I am and will take note of 36 as the beginning of a new year with J and Red and Blue.

He was unexpected last year and I am sure there will be more of that good, coming along.

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I tend to ponder stuff, alot of “I wonder why…” things. Even when sitting in a restaurant, on our first date, I asked J why he swished and smelled the wine.

He shrugged and said “I dunno. My sister does it.”

By the end of the evening, I must have asked a few more questions and looked at me and laughed and said, “You sure do ask alot of questions.”

I do. I like figuring things out and thinking about things.

I like to know stuff.

So, I have some questions randomly going through my head lately.

1) Is Bruce Jenner wearing alot of makeup or has he had a facelift?

2) what will it be like to live with J? Permanently. I mean, MY GOSH, I haven’t lived with anyone in, oh, 5 years. And look where that landed me. (oh yeah, here, with J).

3) Will J always leave the seat up? Or will he start putting it down after he pees? I have never ever said anything to him about it. It doesn’t bother me, it amuses me. He has only lived with one woman in his life, for about five years. I wonder what will happen when one of my kids go to the bathroom and fall in.

4) How come weather.com says it’s currently raining in my town when I am standing outside in 70 degrees and sun?

5)  Why is farting funny?

6) How come Dove Bars NEVER go on sale? I asked the guy who is always stocking the ice cream section at the market (he knows me now) . Seriously, I asked him, “Do the Dove Bars EVER go on sale?” And he goes, “NOPE.”

And then, lastly, tonight, on Skype, J and I were catching up since the last few days were merely quick hellos and emails while I was at my friends’ house down south. (southern Massachusetts, not South as in “Arkansas”.)  

At one point, our conversation went like this:

J: I’ll be home in a week and three days.

Me: You still want to come home?

J: Yup.

Me: You still want to live together?

J: You bet I do.

Me: You still want to BE with me?

J: I sure do.

Me (flashing some boob): Ya want some of this?

J: (laughs, unable to speak)

As a post script, I am looking ahead and wanted to mention, you DO realize, that the theme of my writing is going to be changing, fairly soon. You know why? Well, because, if you’ve been paying attention, J is going to be moving in.

There will be a man in the house, for good now.

I know there will be some adjusting and we’ll need our own studio time (me with my art and him with his music). There will be STUFF to deal with. I expect it to be smooth sailing, but am sure we’ll be faced with some hilarity and stuff to work out from time to time.

There will be basic “step” parenting going on, which so far, has  been really easy and great, but that’s not been a PERMANENT thing, you know, before. I mean, he was coming and going.

But it is getting close and I am coping better with this last jaunt of his overseas. This one was a rough one for some reason and that was surprising since the beginning was so hard. I mean, this should be a breeze!!!

Maybe I am still thinking he is going to change his mind in the end.

I am coping better by doing things like painting, getting ready for an art sale coming up, potentially going to the beach on Saturday since it’s gonna be 75 degrees (WOOT!), cleaning the house and continuing to clean out crap from the closets and drawers to give him space…. and doing things like, making extra keys for our basement and side door (although, he has had a key to the front door for quite a while now). 

Yeah. You know it’s serious when you’re making more extra keys!

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Classic

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I landed on an island this morning off a ferry to see my dear dear friend, who moved here  last year. (I am writing this from her guest room). I literally packed a backpack and my handbag, laptop included, and left home at 8am to drive south to the ferry.  

The ferry had free internet and I found myself by the window with my laptop updating my work website and catching up on emails. (see above picture, that was me, overtired because I was also up late last night at a CD release party for a friends’ band)

I loved how transient and carefree I felt and feel this week. I remember the feeling from traveling out of the country to see J. Only this time, it’s not him, nor it is with him, but alone, to see my friend.

She used to live two blocks from me and she was the one person I could call up (or she could call me) and say “want to come over and hang?”

And we’d pack up our kids and shift over to one another’s houses and hang out for a spell.

I really miss her.

I got off the ferry before noon and she and her three young kids were there waiting for me, as if it hadn’t been MONTHS since we last saw each other on a very short visit.

She suggested getting some takeout sushi so we trooped in to the sushi place, which also sold live lobster.

Her middle child, who is four, (and a boy who also spent alot of time tonight sitting on my lap and passing vibrating gas) was suddenly standing at the edge of the lobster tank with his finger high up in the air and he yelled, “I FEED DIS TO DA LOBSTAS!”

And then he flicked in his incredibly large boogie, freshly picked from his tiny nose. (or “snoogie” as he calls it)

Classic.

After a hectic afternoon of multitasking and holding babies and making dinner (AND she built a fire in the fireplace), my wonder woman friend sat down and goes, “I envy you your time off.”

My friend is amazing, she works her tail off with these kids, her husband is awesome but works alot, he has to work alot, and she not only takes care of these little ones, but the house, part of his business, and him.  She takes care of it all.

Oh, what I would do to be able to wisk her away for a few days so she can have a break, but for now, me being here is the greatest thing I can do (because she won’t leave her kids). We drank a bottle of wine. We ate cookies. We talked and talked.

J Skyped in and she got to meet him, he met her kids. I showed him the fire and the table set for dinner.

I wish he were here with me, when I go through day to day stuff or not-so-much normal things like a quick jaunt out of town without the kids like this. 

Four weeks from tonight he’ll be sleeping in my bed, for good, with me again.

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I decided to speak live.

“Live”, as in, a rambling mom home, completely alone, talking to “herself”. 

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