Monthly Archives: October 2010

ten year flashback: dreaming of me

I am very thankful for my husband and my marriage.  Having a supportive, equal partner who loves me is amazing.  I have learned in the past ten years that marriage is a lot more work than we thought it would be, and that life doesn’t just fall into place in fairy-tale fashion.  I have also learned that I found Princess Bride style true love while being myself ten years ago, and it is worth every iota of energy and more to keep our relationship as healthy as it deserves to be.

Today, Paul and I took a long walk, through the Botanical Gardens and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and I thought about how lucky we are to have each other.  And so, I present, a throwback to 2006 and the beginning of our love story:

The rest of my life is very different from what I thought it would be a year ago. I’ll adjust to that. I’m still adjusting to happiness.

october 30th, 2006: dreaming of me

NOW i’m a working mom cliche!

Two weeks ago, I volunteered to bake cookies for Ben’s pre-school Hallowe’en party.

Last week, I signed up for the chili cookoff at work, because I like showing off how well I can cook.

Two days ago, I FINALLY decided on my costume for Friday at the office.

Of course, because I was out last week, and then didn’t get organized enough this weekend, I had to pull everything together on a work night. So I came home tonight, realized it is two days before Hallowe’en Friday…and panicked.

Six hours later, I have formulated my battle plans, and completed a shopping run to Target and Whole Foods. This required making lists, gathering up coupons, and driving across town to West Hollywood.

Now I have everything I need to make dough for the cookies for Ben’s daycare. I have to make those tonight so the dough can chill and be rolled out tomorrow. Then I will cut it into cute little bats. (OF COURSE I have bat cookie cutters! I use them year round!) And I will also have to start soaking the beans and defrosting the bison tonight for my chili cookoff entry.

Then, I will have to try on the too-big dress I got at Target, and see if I can cut it down from a size 16 to a size 12. It was the last one, and it was perfect for my costume, and it was $20…but it’s a size 16. Which I am not, anymore. And also, Target doesn’t sell gold craft paint, or face paint, so I will have to try to find an art supply store tomorrow, which is one more thing to do.

All in all, it’s going to be a long night…and I still have work to do…and it will be a full day tomorrow. And now, I think about all those working mom cliches, of women staying up until all hours to bake cookies for their kids’ bake sale, and realize – that’s what I am. I’m trying to make cookies for Ben’s preschool to show that I’m just as dedicated a mommy as a non-working mother. I’m trying to show that I can pull off everything, and make it look, if not easy, at least do-able. I’m trying to prove that I can do well in both the domestic and the work sphere, which is the juggling act that every working mom pulls off.

I’d better start that cookie dough so I can get a little sleep tonight.

somewhere over nebraska, with canadian nostalgia

Being on a plane gives me too much time to think. Time to think isn’t something I have a lot of these days. I’m usually focused on the next thing to do: work, Ben, life. On planes, it’s like the world is on hold. It’s me and my thoughts and five hours to to NYC.

Tonight, I somehow got an Our Lady Peace song stuck in my head, which led me down a YouTube path to find Random Canadian Alt-Rock From The 90s. There’s a handful of songs I remember from when I was in and out of Vancouver, when the local rock station dominated my listening habits. Some are ACF bands, some just had a catchy Top 10 hit that now hits me with a serious nostalgia wave when I hear it. Some bands hit during the year I was working at a Future Shop in Victoria, when we listened to whatever the CD department was playing. I can tell you most of what was on Big Shiny Tunes 2, or exactly when Savage Garden became annoyingly huge in 1997.

But I’m going to cut the nostalgia off now. This is, far too much, what I seem to choose to do on planes: drift back into the past, instead of focusing on what I’m on the plane to do (meetings in NYC! pitches! presentations! strategy!) I’ve been having an interesting year of work – not in the “may you live in interesting times” sense, but in the genuinely interesting way. I should be able to keep that up.

However, here is a short list of random 90s CanCon. Feel free to chime in on these, folks. Let’s relive our childhoods!

family vacation adventure time.

We went camping last weekend with Ben.

There are two groups of you reading this out there with very different reactions. One group of you are thinking, “oh, that’s great! What a wholesome family vacation! How great to be introducing Ben to the outdoors, and how fun to be outside all weekend!”

The rest of you actually have kids, and are thinking “OHMYGOD THEY TOOK A TWO YEAR OLD CAMPING?” It’s tough enough to get a small boy like Ben to sleep under the best of circumstances. Those of you who have experienced small children can only imagine getting him to sleep in a tent.

And yet, somehow, we did it. We pulled out all our old camping gear over the last few days, checked it, and prepared to pack it. We bought the new pieces we needed: a new lantern, sleeping pad for Paul, freezer blocks for the cooler. We loaded everything into the microvan yesterday: sleeping bags, tents, stove, cooking gear and dishes, food, tarps, lanterns and flashlights, towels, and clothes. We timed it so the drive up would take place over Ben’s nap, reducing his awake time in the car so he would be less likely to wake up & get bored in the car (“I want down, Mama. I’m stuck in here! All done car! Down! I want down!”) And we headed off to Gaviota State Park, up by Santa Barbara.

Of course, we had to stop at Chick-fil-A in Oxnard on the way up. Ben likes their nuggets and the board books in their kids meals. I just like Chick-fil-A.

(Ben at Chick-fil-A)

We got to the campground a little after 3pm, and immediately went to the beach

Ben at the beach

Paul, meanwhile, set up the campsite, because he is (a) the man in this family and (b) because he is awesome enough to do that while I played with Ben in the sand. Even when I brought Ben back though, we managed to distract him with some rocks:

Ben at the campsite

Then Ben helped me make veggie skewers as a side dish for our special camping dinner:

Ben helps Mama put zucchini on skewers

And then we all had dinner: hamburgers, sliced sweet potatoes in tinfoil packets, and veggie skewers. The leftovers were pretty awesome chopped up into pasta sauce the next day, too:

Ben and Paul at dinner

So far, this trip was going great. Ben was having a great time at the beach. He loved the adventure of eating outside, and running around the campsite. He loved seeing the trains going by above the campsite. He did NOT love bedtime. We put him in his PJ’s, and put him into his tent…which was in our tent:

Ben’s tent, inside the big tent. I’m a genius.

Paul spent an hour trying to get him to sleep, and then finally, Ben said, “I want my crib.” To which Paul said, “This is your camping crib.” Ben seemed to accept that and ACTUALLY WENT TO SLEEP. And he only woke up a couple times in the night…until he woke up for good at FIVE FORTY FIVE IN THE MORNING. That isn’t much earlier than he usually wakes up on weekdays…but I bet our neighbors didn’t realize that.

Ben, up and moving at 6am. IT’S STILL DARK OUT.

Once the sun came up, Ben and I went down to the beach, where we had a Mama-Ben moment:

Ben and I look out at the ocean.

Ben absolutely loves the ocean.

Ben looks out at the ocean.

We played on the beach for a bit, and then went back to the tent for breakfast. Unfortunately, the milk I had brought had gone bad. So we decided to go into Buellton and go to Pea Soup Andersen’s. This is one of the best, most hilarious, and most delicious tourist traps of the California highways. It’s so iconic that my mother also used to stop there, on the road to San Francisco. Ben is the third generation of the family to stop at Pea Soup Andersen’s while on a road trip. And Ben also loves pea soup.

Ben enjoys his pea soup breakfast

Did I mention it’s a tacky tourist trap?

Paul and Ben goofing around as Lum-pea and Pea-wee

We returned to camp, went to the beach one last time, and then Ben had a snack:

Yes, Ben does have an apple AND a peach

It was a very successful weekend, and I’m thrilled that we can now share our love of the outdoors, with the tiny boy we love so much. Ben LOVED camping. We plan to start doing this on a regular basis, so we can get out of the city a little more…and see our son’s little face light up with joy like it did so many times this trip.

lady oracle

As long as I could spend a certain amount of time each week [writing Costume Gothics], I was all right. I was patient and forbearing, warm, a sympathetic listener. But if I was cut off, if I couldn’t work at my current Costume Gothic, I would become mean and irritable, drink too much and start to cry.
-Margaret Atwood, “Lady Oracle”

Which is pretty much how I feel about being a goth. So long as I’m allowed time to dress in black, to trail lace and a sense of Victorian forboding, I’m fine. But force me into reality for too long a stretch, and I start to fall apart. I get anxious and worry too much, I focus too much on imagined slights. I seek out drama and misery for myself. Whereas, if I’m given a few hours of stomping to A23 or Combichrist, or bouncing around to Wolfsheim or And One, or dancing for joy to Nine Inch Nails, I remember who I am, and go back into reality with a renewed sense of self.

So. I’m supposed to meet my friends at Bootie tonight. And I love Bootie. I love dancing to mash-ups, and I love being in a room of people who are all just totally into the music and their own movement to it. I love the energy at the Echoplex. But what actually got me moving and hopeful tonight was the thought of going to MODE:M beforehand. I can probably pass the same outfit off at both – MODE:M is synthpop, and while I wear my best steampunk Victoriana to its sister event, Malediction Society, I can wear my sparking T-shirt, skinny jeans and boots to both a goth synthpop dance night, and a pseudo-underground mashup dance party.