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25 May 2009

End of holiday weekend 3-point update [More:]
1. Yesterday morning I got out of the subway at 79th St on my way to the flea market at Columbus Ave to find a food fair set up along that stretch of Broadway. One of the stands was serving something I've craved for the longest time, but never thought I'd find in New York City - Funnel Cake! Well, what else could I do but have funnel cake for breakfast. It was really, really good. As I sat down to eat it, I met two very interesting people sitting on the next bench, this man, who gave me a postcard of his work (and with whom I shared some of my funnel cake), and another man named Larry, an elderly gentleman, who had a very kind face and a gentle manner about him.

2. Part of me wished I had been in Ohio yesterday, because there was a family party in honour of George's son, John, who went off to Fort Benning today for his basic training, after which he's going into Officer Training. It's ironic, he was offered a scholarship to study electrical engineering at MIT, but turned it down because it was offered by the army and he didn't want anything to do with the military. Now, a couple of years after graduating from OU, he's signed up. I mean, OU might be a good school, but it sure as hell isn't MIT on your resume.

3. We had an awesome evening tonight. We went to a spelling bee and I came second out of fourteen competitors. I won a $15 bar tab, which we used to buy two excellent sandwiches. After the bee a drunk girl tried to pick Jason up, then she moved on to a slightly nerdy guy from the spelling bee whose body language was screaming "No! No! NO!". On returning from the men's room, he told her "I just got a really urgent phone call, and I have to leave - right now!" Then a guy came in wearing shorts and a bandanna, and he was next on her radar. I had the feeling that she was out of luck tonight. I have the feeling I am in luck tonight ...

1. I am super in love with my sweetheart. He's pretty awesome. That's a nice thing.

2. A three-day weekend is long enough to remember who you really are and what matters to you.

3. Summer is here. As it says in Beowulf,

That the ground and the groves wear gowns of green;
Birds build their nests, and blithely sing
That solace of all sorrow with summer comes
Ere long.

And blossoms day by day
Bloom rich and rife in throng;
Then every grove so gay
Of the greenwood rings with song

posted by Miko 25 May | 23:39
2. Lost two birds to the neighbors' lab.
3. Moved the last of the in-house poultry from the guest room to the coop.

This has been a week of poultry.
posted by stet 25 May | 23:43
1. Had a great visit with my friend Jess and her fiance Kyle. They are great people. The weekend was fun, except for Jess' car getting broken into during their visit. Her passenger window was smashed and her GPS unit taken. Boooooooo. It's only things, but it's still a PITA.
2. Today (May 26th) is our three year anniversary! Huzzah! Big Italian dinner at a favorite restaurant tonight.
3. I would like a job, would someone like to give me one? Bleech.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 25 May | 23:43
1. I basically did nothing all weekend until last night. My kids' friends show up in the morning and I don't have the heart to tell them they can't play today because mom wants to go to Barnes and Noble or drive to Ikea. So, I stayed home so they could be with their friends. I cleaned a little and lazed around a lot. I wanted to download the new book Rapt, by Winifred Gallagher, but my internet was going in and out yesterday. We wanted to go to the children's wing of the museum yesterday but it is closed because of flooding.

2. I went to see Sin Nombre last night. It was a great movie. Two thumbs up! Must see! At the theater I drank a margarita, shared a pitcher of beer and a delicious Margherita pizza. I haven't drank alcohol in a while. It was nice to feel it on my lips.

3. Today I went to the beach. I stayed all day and ate a lot of food that I shouldn't have: Oatmeal Creme Pies, Oreos, salt and vinegar chips, fried chicken, mac and cheese. The list goes on. Tomorrow I am working out like Jane Fonda. Last week I went to a cardiology symposium and there was a prominent cardiologist that flew in to speak. His talk was on lipids. Part of his talk was devoted to diet. He spoke the truth and it was very inspiring and motivating. Evidently, not inspiring enough to prevent me from eating Oatmeal Creme Pies.

And like the year before, we reminded our kids what Memorial Day is for, answered some of their questions, and hopefully instilled a feeling of gratitude and respect.
posted by LoriFLA 25 May | 23:52
1. had to choose between meetup and visiting with friends in from out of town - meetup lost. Friends were wonderful and always nice to visit them in the country.

2. other friends brought their baby over to have dinner, and luckily our toddler didn't knock her over or really agitate her in any way. Watching them play together was so, so cute.

3. had plans to go to a party today, but I couldn't face it. Bad, bad frame of mind, not helped by seeing a rack of father's day cards at the supermarket. Dad has been gone three weeks.
posted by pinky.p 26 May | 00:14
1. Beautiful day today, and it was a pleasure to be out and doing chores.

2. I am starting to feel the pressure of wedding planning. Big families mean a big party; a big party requires organization. I'm not freaking out, but I do periodically stop and make a conscious effort to breathe deeply and slowly. I'm not freaking out, but I can see Freak-out Town from my house.

3. Stop and breathe, stop and breathe.
posted by Elsa 26 May | 00:23
1. Some friends popped by unexpectedly and we all had a impromptu cookout. I managed to throw together a pasta salad from stuff in the house, they grabbed some hot dogs, and fun was had by all.

2. Our dinner conversation determined that the theme song and credits to Enterprise are really, really jarring and inappropriate given the comparison to every other Star Trek them song to date.

3. I have someone stopping by to try on a corset tomorrow. I'm done, but I suspect the straps for a halter neckline are too long.
posted by kellydamnit 26 May | 00:27
Went to NJ with my father to see cousins. My second cousin and her husband have a large home (with a computer room and tv den for their four daughters) but are adding on another 2000 square feet. I think she'd be happier if she went back to work.

Am very worried about my father;he has to stop several times when he goes up a flight of stairs.

Local strawberries at Union square today.

LoriFLA, it's OK to say "no" once in a while. I'm sure the kids would have understood if they had been told you needed to do errands.
posted by brujita 26 May | 00:33
1. I just got home from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, after watching several episodes of the last season of Golden Girls with a bunch of new friends I met at a barbecue earlier in Greenpoint. I was invited by a neighbor so I didn't know anyone there, and now I'm gonna start a band with these three women and my neighbor. We all bonded over the Girls, their constantly and incongruously changing clothes, and those hairdos, sometimes so grand and round that I fear they might whisk away in a stiff breeze like dandelion wishies.

2. I have a fever of 101°F and I don't know why. It could be exhaustion (Memorial Day weekend's enjoyable but grueling schedule of barbecues and porch-sitting completely knackered me), or poor diet (I've been nauseated and eating irregularly since I stopped smoking weed several days ago. I also drank too much wine last week at a fine French meal, and at about 4:30 in the morning I vomited Bordeaux and steak frites; at about 7:30 I vomited nothing, and at about 8:15 I vomited a little bit of what seemed to be blood, but since there was none in my stool later or the following days, and no more came out of my mouth [sorry, squeamish folks, but these details may be relevant] I just figured I wrenched my gut or sprained my throat or something. My belly feels like an empty hot water bottle, all rubber and flappy inside), or swine flu (I do live in one of the world's biggest petri dishes; I've been coughing a lot, but that's happened before when I tried quitting the green; in a couple days the coughs will all bring up tar flecks and then a few days later it'll clear up and my lungs will be pink for frying again). I just drank some patent medicine because my body aches and I can't sleep. I hope it won't interfere with my ability to take the cure.

3. Here's hoping I don't become terribly ill; I had planned to go down to Maryland this coming weekend to see my dad and nephews (and of course brother and sis-in-law) and celebrate my birthday and then a couple days later my s-i-l's birthday (how convenient!). I guess convalescing comes first, but I really miss my family, especially my dad. I just want to see my dad, and my childhood home, and just sit on the living-room couch with him and maybe quietly think about my mom together. I think my dad probably needs a visit from me even more than I need to visit him. Damn, this Theraflu is making me maudlin, it's bedtime; good night.

On preview, pinky.p, I don't know if it gets better but Mother's Day opened a big hole in my heart; I felt a little better after I met some friends for brunch and reminded them all to call their moms. One of them asked how I was feeling later, while we strolled through lower Manhattan, and I said quite honestly, "I feel terrible. Mother's Day just hurts really bad this year." I don't know how it could be any different. I hope you have a hand to hold or someone to talk to when you need it, pinky.p. Be yourself, feel however you feel, don't bother with worrying about not appearing happy, or being easily upset, or whether it's okay to want to be antisocial (or social).

I think I will always hurt when I think of my mom's absence, but I think, eventually, I'll be able to think without pain of her presence. That's my goal, anyway. I miss her though. She and I listened to one another, and there's nobody in the world who listens to me that way anymore. It hurts.

Good night. Rest as easy as you can, pinky.p, and drop a line if you want or need. Also I've found the people here to be very kind and supportive, a great resource, and proof that we aren't just voices in the wilderness. Thank you all.
posted by Hugh Janus 26 May | 00:36
Oh, TPS, I'm so sorry. Of course, everyone's grief is different, everyone takes a different path to get where they need to be, but you'll get there. (And of course you know that, too.)

It does get easier. It does get easier. It does get easier.

I'm so terribly sorry for your loss.
posted by Elsa 26 May | 01:01
(Psst- was not me, was pinky.p. I'm sure she appreciates the kindness, though).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 26 May | 01:06
So sorry, that wasn't for TPS, but for pinky p. Just a slip of the typing fingers; it's the end of a looooong day here, and my brain swapped one pinkster for another.

In my experience, a few weeks or a month after a loss is especially hard. For the first days and weeks, the people around you --- the ones with only a tangential connection to your lost loved one --- want to wrap you up in cotton wool, or step back and let you have space. But after a few weeks, they kinda start acting like it's over, which is understandable but a little weird, too.

Anyone who's been through it understands, though: it's not over.

You'll be okay. Don't hesitate to come here to talk and reach out.
posted by Elsa 26 May | 01:06
waves at TPS! Night night, all!
posted by Elsa 26 May | 01:08
1. Fun day in the neighborhood crime genre. Last Friday we had the police chief parked in front of our house keeping an eye on the gang house across the street. Saturday there were squads congregating four blocks up the street, one block over, and others driving away -- the whole department was busy and the state patrol had to come downtown to assist when there was a car accident. Then today I saw three guys in identical colors suddenly break from a walk to a run when a squad appeared nearby, followed by APB-level criss-crossing of the neighborhood. (We heard there had been a gang fight last night, so this may have been about some retaliation.) THEN when I was confabbing about all of this with our neighborhood watch captain, I commented "It's the hood, there's ALWAYS something happening -- I'll call when it does." The moment he walked away, we had two squads pull up and a bunch of detectives (jeans, POLICE jackets, shoulder holsters) make a cautious visit across the street. No arrests ... but I feel more confident that the landlord will be strong-armed into taking action soon. He's a flipping city employee!

2. Fun day in the family crisis genre. Found out over the weekend that my sister-in-law's boyfriend is getting furloughed from his trucking job in about 90 days, so they may have to give up the farm they are buying on land contract, so my niece Marie may be coming back to live with my Mom (her grandma). Then her common law stepbrother (more precision is impossible...) got burned in the pyro-freak garage-sized bonfire they set up every weekend (this on top of whatever toxins they all regularly breathe in because they burn ... everything). THEN he and my nephew Gregor were in the back of the pickup to pull some plywood out of the road that a passing truck lost overboard, and when it pulled onto the shoulder it slid off (I think) and the same kid who got burned was thrown and suffered a severe head injury! General redneck-ness seems to be endemic in that family. What's worse is that they make it all a weird protocol about who gets to know when, even though it's going to be in the paper tomorrow.

3. My nephew Gregor who was in the same pickup brought his girlfriend and their baby and her parents to the redneck Memorial Day cookout, apparently more somber because of the kid in an induced coma. The gf's mother has never liked my nephew's mom (known to her long before the relationship) and blew up about her drinking (which is actually not that bad, it's the boyfriend who is teaching his kids, not hers, to be teenage drunks), then took the daughter and grandson home, effectively forcing some kind of breakup with my nephew. I guess. Sheesh.

4. Oh, yeah, we're still getting used to my dad being in the memory care unit. He's better but still believes he's coming home someday somehow. Well, not so much. I guess that's normal, really, but he keeps refusing stuff we want to bring him to make him more comfortable because he's ... leaving soon.
posted by stilicho 26 May | 01:32
1. Last night/morning spent in Houston started at Cafe 101, a hip/trendy late spot that's open late in the new Chinatown district, which is miles away and far nicer than the old Chinatown district. Had curried pork chop over rice, O man, was that tasty. My dinner/drink companions (and I was the only one drinking) were a damn good friend from the anime con scene, his brother, and his brother's best friend, all of them voice actors.

After good food and good dinner conversation, we dropped the brother/best friend off and he took me on an after-hours driving tour of southern Houston while he updated me on his health (which was in not so good shape in February), let me know that he understood it when I said that I didn't often feel that anyone cared about me, and was able to get some things off his chest about the anime con world I'm no longer a part of anymore. We got back to the hotel at 3 am, and I staggered up to my hotel room to sleep.

As I said on Twitter and directly to my friend, whom I thought at one point I'd never get to see again due to the aforementioned health crisis, "Spending this time with you was the best way I could have left Houston."

2. Um, that's about it.
posted by TrishaLynn 26 May | 05:51
1) Social! Went to see pinky.p on Friday and had a lovely visit with her and her sweet little one. I've been really bad about being in touch with my friends for a variety of reasons, so I'm glad I made a step to do something social. I actually did THREE social things this weekend--pinky.p visit, meetup on Saturday night and then a fantastic cookout/potluck to benefit the food coop that I joined last year. The coop hasn't opened yet, and I bought my share a year ago. I can't wait! The "slogan" I guess you'd call it, is "Eat Local, Y'all!" which tickles me.

2) I've finally found a house and am under contract. That means lots of paperwork and stress and planning and setting up appointments and worrying that I won't meet deadlines. So far the mortgage guy didn't call me back for days, handed me off to someone else in his company who was really obnoxious, and then the inspection company emailed yesterday to try to change the appointment because of a funeral. I wasn't able to do it at the time they wanted, but suggested several other times in the next three days when I would be available. They kept it at the originally scheduled time this afternoon. Closing is June 15th, and I'm going on a business trip May 31 to June 6th. Whirlwind times.

3) I lost all day Sunday to the blahs. I didn't leave the house, didn't get one thing productive done, and fretted the whole day about it. I'm glad I was able to rally yesterday to make up for it in part. As I mentioned, lots to do! I culled 5 kitchen garbage bags of stuff to take to Goodwill, mostly clothes.
posted by Stewriffic 26 May | 06:05
1) Finally found Chinatown on Sunday (same one you were in, TrishaLynn!) and spent wayyyyyyyyy too much on food, but now I am set in frozen dumplings for LIFE. Hell of a drive from where I am, though.

2) So now I have all these veggies that I need to eat really fast and/or convert to long-term storage form. Problem with the latter is that all I really know how to do with most of them is sauté with garlic in olive oil, which is delicious, but I don't know how long they will keep.

3) Woke up 30 minutes early today and couldn't fall back asleep like I really really want to. It's going to be so weird working during daylight hours again.
posted by casarkos 26 May | 06:38
1) after ten years of growing it out, I cut my hair to a shorter style.

2) went to a going away party for some good friends; he's Air Force, and will be moving in a month. I'll miss them both.

3) finally got around to using my account here (hi everybody, I tend to lurk)
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity 26 May | 07:29
1) I'm smitten. Smitten as a kitten. Met a boy at a wedding about a week ago... we had our second date on saturday. A brunch that ended up lasting 6 hours. He's away on tour this week, but I'll see him next week when he returns. *huffs* A whole week! :(
2) Am much better after the cold I had all weekend. Had the day off work yesterday, felt so bad, but was genuinely ill.
3) Am enjoying dressing up for work. Not that I have to, or anything, I just am. Have cool new clothes, and I've been strutting.
posted by jonathanstrange 26 May | 07:41
Big, big hugs to hugh & pinky.p. I've been thinking about & missing my Dad a lot lately. Mom, too. Mother's & Father's day are the toughest. What has worked for me is to get outside in nature with the dogs & walk & just appreciate life.

1. Yay to the smitten bunnies! :D
2. Monitored the tomato & herb garden, sunflowers are up, made a retaining wall for the maple tree out back so she could keep her water longer.
3. Saw Star Trek yesterday & loved it.
4. Dinner w/ the sister & BIL Saturday was fun - we acted like silly idiots at the restaurant.
posted by chewatadistance 26 May | 07:50
1. Our reformed jazz band played our first paid gig on Saturday, at a cousin of a friend's wedding. It went well. That was nice.
2. Got an unexpected tax bill for £1200 on Sunday. That wasn't so nice.
3. Three more grey hairs over the weekend. That was... well, I'm not sure how to feel about that.

Lost two birds to the neighbors' lab.

This British English brain, in which 'lab' is more usually expanded to 'laboratory' than 'Labrador', found that rather bizarre.
posted by chrismear 26 May | 09:19
I think that's the more common understanding in American English as well, unless there's clear dog-related or hunting-related context. In this case, the lack of clarity in my writing led to a humourous (that 'u' is for you crazies on the other side of the Atlantic or north of the border!) image: ZOMBIE CHICKENS!
posted by stet 26 May | 10:43
bizarre... "humourous" just looks wrong to me, though I'm a Brit. "Humour" yes, "humourous" no. It Googles ok though.
posted by altolinguistic 26 May | 10:52
I thought laboratory too.

1. Unpacking bonanza.
2. More of the same.
3. Went to Ikea and spent |-----------| THIS much money on things that I didn't even know I needed. Still need a spice rack big enough for my many many spices, and preferably not ugly, but I got almost everything else including a bright red bathmat and a tree and lots of pillows.
posted by rmless2 26 May | 11:01
P.S. Hugh has swine flu and he's behind you!
posted by rmless2 26 May | 11:03
bizarre... "humourous" just looks wrong to me, though I'm a Brit. "Humour" yes, "humourous" no. It Googles ok though.

Crap. I fail at localization. Once again, I am boned by the humerus.
posted by stet 26 May | 12:56
It was totally worth it for that pun, stet :-)
posted by altolinguistic 26 May | 14:23
posted by stet 26 May | 15:40
1. I feel somewhat refreshed from my vacation and I'm pleased I went away for as long as I did, even if it means that I'm going to have a ridiculous amount of work to do tomorrow. At least I have one of those silly little knotted bracelets to remind me of the awesome times we had.

2. I hate the fact that I am totally lacking in lettuce so I can't have any salad and I really don't want to go to the grocery store until Thursday.

3. My house is a mess and I really need to do a massive cleaning, but I think I'll just have to wait until my brother is done with his repairs because otherwise I'll just get crankier.
posted by sperose 26 May | 17:31
"Why yes, it is naturally wavy. Thanks." || zomg Jerboas!