Bad Idea Bucket List

Quick! I only have three and a half years left before I turn 40. I need to get some youthful indiscretions out of the way, and I need your help to think of them. (Feel free to suggest things that I may have already done or that I am super unlikely to ever do. I am…not very serious about this.)

  1. Do donuts on the neighbor’s lawn (or wherever).
  2. Pierce my nose.

I need some advice.

Here is my dilemma:

We have a neighbor, J, who has a toddler. Her boyfriend, the baby’s father, lived with them at one time, but I haven’t seen him lately and am not sure if he’s still around (I never saw him often, so he probably is). J’s mother lives in the building as well, but as far as I know she’s in another apartment. At her request, we leave our recyclables for her to collect the return on. (They probably think we are terrible alcoholics, but HAHAHA that’s another story.)

J has asked to borrow a dollar now and again, and a few weeks ago asked to borrow $20 for diapers and milk. I have always helped her out and she’s always repaid me.

Last night we got home to a note on our door, asking for another $20. We don’t have it (I have always loaned her money out of my grocery money and this week’s is spent). I wrote a note back, apologizing and asking if there is anything else we can do to help.

I’m not looking for advice on whether I should be helping J when I’m able to or whether I should feel bad when I can’t; I’m pretty confident in the answers to both of those. What I would like is any ideas you may have for nice things I can do for them. Baking cookies, for example–but maybe that wouldn’t be so nice, if they are low on food-food? I don’t know how to approach this. I do have some outgrown clothing of Grace’s, which I’m going to sort out for the baby, and some old toys I may offer them.

Any other ideas?

Playground Politics

An older woman, immaculately dressed, follows her granddaughter around the park, loudly directing her on her scooter. “Go around the circle. Here, around the tree. That’s good! Now go around again.” The granddaughter is at least eight years old.

I do not murder the woman for interfering.

A young mother runs up to where my son is playing with her son and joins in, effectively taking over, deciding how they will play. My son is eight, hers at least five.

I do not murder the woman for interfering.

Three adults (two men and one woman) practice fencing, inappropriately dressed for it, a couple hundred feet from the playground. I have to talk my son and his playmate (whose mother has vanished) out of going and “playing” with them.

I do not murder the fencers for lack of brains.

Another mom, with a son and daughter somewhere between Grace and Sam’s ages, refuses to play with them and encourages them to use their imaginations and find things to do on their own. When her son says he cannot, she patiently listens to him spouting off interesting facts about elephants.

I do not make out with her face, but I am awfully tempted to.

Random

My main observation from nearly three weeks of our new eating regime is that the children’s personalities are exactly as I suspected.

Sam wants to please us. He will try anything. Just pops it in his mouth and chews it up. But he doesn’t like any of it. He coughs and fake-chokes and is dramatic about all of it. He won’t let himself really taste things.

Grace does not give a damn about pleasing us, but her natural curiosity wins out over stubbornness about half the time. She has found several new foods that she LOVES.

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We’re rearranging our apartment. I know what you’re thinkng–AGAIN?!–but beyond moving a chair or something, we only rearrange ever 2-3 years, which is less frequently than most people move, so you do the math.

Sam and Grace have their own room. Sometimes one or both of them disappears for hours. Most nights they go to sleep in their own beds, thought here are nights like last night, when grace was feeling anxious and sad about losing co sleeping, and I brought her out to falls sleep in my bed.

…Which is in the living room. It’s temporary, and was a great transition point for everyone, but I’m ready for more privacy and the apartment isn’t. Yet.

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I miss sewing. My work area, which was a disaster to begin with, is totally non-functional as I sort through the mess. I have clothing to sew! My wardrobe is on the right track for the first time in years, damn it!

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What’s new with you? I feel out of touch.

Sourpuss

I was the penalty tracker in this Saturday’s derby dolls game. Photographer Grant Palmer took this photo of me comparing penalty sheets with penalty box administrators Sweep-the-leg Johnny and Namaslay.

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I cannot stop laughing. MY FACE! I look like I am sucking on a lemon. (Click to embiggen.)

Heartbreak; new dress and a trip; sorting

Last night I received the impossibly sad news that my friend Laurie has died. I am still reeling and can hardly believe it. She was the funniest, warmest person I knew. And oh, she loved Sam. Whenever she was down she would ask for a Sam story to cheer her up. She was also my knitting pattern line’s #1 fan.

Laurie loved movies. We went out at least once or twice a year to Cinefamily (formerly the Silent Movie Theatre, aka where I got married), and to the Egyptian Theatre for the American Cinematheque’s Noir festival. This is the first year we missed it.

I feel like there is a hole in my chest.

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Because life goes on, I will also blog about the stuff I was planning to write about.

I finished sewing this in time for my friend Jim’s wedding:

100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 1

100 Acts of Sewing Dress No. 1

I swear that huge wrinkle didn’t really show in person, and the pocket is sewn on evenly.

I flew to New York BY MYSELF overnight last Wednesday-Thursday. I bought a SIX DOLLAR MOCHA at JFK, then took the AirTrain to the A train and rode into Manhattan. I got off in the village and had breakfast with my dear friend Nova, then walked to the 1/9 and went up to Lincoln Center.

Lincoln Center, aka my favorite place on earth

Lincoln Center, aka my favorite place on earth

Tiny Amy met me there and we wandered up Amsterdam to 72nd street, where we got some amazing falafel at Soom Soom Vegetarian Bar. Then I headed to Grand Central Terminal and took a commuter train up the river.

View of the Hudson River from Metro-North near Sing Sing Penitentiary.

View of the Hudson River from Metro-North near Sing Sing Penitentiary.

I spent the long weekend with my mom. This is the first time I’ve been childfree since Sam was born, and the first time I’ve ever been away from Grace. The first night I slept twelve and a half hours (though to be fair, I’d only slept about two hours on the airplane).

It was nice to be back in Woodstock.

Forsythia

Forsythia

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In my grief and confusion today, I did not know what to do with myself. So naturally I signed up for Pottermore to get sorted.

HUFFLEPUFF, BITCHES. Common room next to the KITCHEN.

HUFFLEPUFF, BITCHES. Common room next to the KITCHEN.

This is so appropriate that I cannot even.

It’s amateur night again.

Oh, do I have a blog?

I woke up early today. Sometime not very far past 5:30, and I have a fairly strict rule that I do not get out of bed before 6:00 so I stayed there for a bit, listening to Grace snore. Sam was awake too, up in his bunk bed, kvetching that the fan Will put in the bedroom window (which I loooooooove) is too loud and he was too cold. I got him another blanket, and stayed up. Will got in the shower, and then we had an earthquake.

Earthquakes are loud. It sounds like everything is shaking, though it doesn’t always feel like it. I was worried about Sam, so I stood up to run back to the bedroom, only one really doesn’t do that during a quake. I sat back down involuntarily and waited it out. As I expected, Sam was a little freaked out and Grace was still fast asleep.

It was a 4.7, not too shabby. Over on Twitter, half of Los Angeles was calling it a Shamrock Shake and the other half was fuming because they didn’t think of it first.

We are (probably) not Irish. I am Sicilian, Dutch, Welsh, English, and I think French (possibly some other stuff too). Will is mostly English and Scottish on his mother’s side, and we don’t know his father’s heritage (adoptions were closed in the 1940s and he chose to never pursue it). The red hair most likely comes from the Scotch and Dutch sides of the family.

For Saint Patrick’s Day we will be eating fish and chips for dinner and drinking a pint of Murphy’s. But I will not be wearing green, and don’t even think about pinching me.

Gracie and the Wizard in Oz

*title is a take-off of the title of the sixth (I think) Oz book.

So today we did this:

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Grace was mesmerized. When Dorothy is a prisoner and the Wicked Witch turns over the hourglass, I peeked at Grace’s face to see if she was all right. She huffily turned and said, “I’m not afraid of anything!” so I guess that’s that. (She is so fierce. I love her so much.)

A few minutes later I happened on a link to this Wizard of Oz theme park, which has been closed for nearly my entire lifetime but opens to visitors once a year, and this weekend is it.

Then I remembered that once upon a time I wrote some stuff for Blogging.LA about strange Oz-related rumors.

Real-life Munchkinland

Oz sets used to build the 10

The best part of all of this (other than Grace) is the small worldliness of it all. I met my friend Burns through blogging.la, he introduced me to roller derby, and another ref posted the link that got me looking at blogging.la again.

I’ve got a fever

Remember when I swore off IKEA forever and ever? And then the very next season they brought in all the beautiful textiles and housewares and I was like, okay, but no more furniture EVER. And then a few years went by and we had children and I was like, FINE, but just a few things and only until we can afford better.

Well.

The IKEA catalogue arrived yesterday and I have IKEA FEVER. I want to re-furnish our entire place. I am in love with ALL THE THINGS. (I mean, not really ALL of them. That would be nuts. But at least an entire apartment’s worth.)

Please send money and also a larger apartment.