Monday, March 31, 2008
So I have something like four purses. A big black Coach bag that can hold about thirty pounds of stuff (a girlfriend once called it my Winnebago), a pretty light green leather bag (also quite large), a teensy black Coach bag for evenings when I need only a credit card and lip balm (I don't use it that often—even a hairbrush is too large), and a few other assorted bags I almost never use because . . . well, I just explained that.
But I popped in to REI to shop for a birthday present (with my annual rebate check burning a hole in my pocket—I obviously bought more than I thought last year), and found this:
On sale. I think it's cute, it's BIG, it has little straps on the bottom for a yoga mat (or jacket) and a strap to go around your waist so you can wear it on a bike. And I like that it's the kind of bag you can throw on the floor of the car, step on with muddy boots, and take home and throw it in the wash. And the fact that it's my favorite spring color is a bonus, especially since I know I need to work on easing my way out of ski season (soon—not quite yet!) and into the summer, especially because we have some great trips planned.
I made a few other spring purchases.
Camping margarita glasses for the birthday boy.
A new pair of Crocs for Sophie (the smallest women's size—she's eight!). Her school has a creek that runs through it and more or less serves as their playground, so water happy shoes are important.
I'm not sure, but I think I might need these for the summer. I didn't buy them because there were about two hundred people in the shoe department. I'll go back on a weekday.
I also wanted these, but they didn't have my size, so I'll have to mail order them.
Love that store.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
And thanks to his lovely wife, we did it in great style. When 40-year-old Suspect was in college (many, many years ago), friends threw him an accordian and champagne party, which he remembers as one of his best birthdays. So his wife set out to find an accordian player. They don't list themselves in the yellow pages, you know. But she was smart enough to ask a friend who plays the fiddle and is active in the local music scene to post a message on some music list serve. The results? "Raining accordian players," my friend reported. Evidently, they're eager for work, and several even offered to play for her on the phone. I'm not sure how she made her choice, but she hit pure gold.
Meet Renee, the official accordian player for the Usual Suspects:
The woman is seriously brilliant. Providing her own percussion by stomping or jumping up and down, she moved from classic polka to the Violent Femmes (great cover of Blister in the Sun) to Bob Marley. And how about that outfit? The skirt is leather.
She played for the dog,
for the kids,
Husband hung the disco ball.
danced like chickens,
learned the Cha Cha Slide (good thing my girlfriend has been to so many bar mitzvahs and really has this nailed),
hung out with our favorite friends,
and crowd surfed Sophie around the room.
At the end the evening, the pizza boxes were empty, streamers were on the ground, and the cake leveled. I found a small pair of tights in the middle of it all. I think that's a sign of a successful party.
At the end of the evening, Sophie was exhausted but happy. She said it was the best party she ever had. But Husband said it was too large, too unstructured. So next year I'm letting him plan the party. The whole thing. He says he has lots of ideas, starting with snail races, which he imagines will be a quiet activity. Don't worry—I would never to that to my girl. But if the party were a wee bit smaller, that would be ok.
Thanks to readers for the moral support and good wishes!!
Coming up: A report from last night's champagne and accordion party for the last of our pod to turn forty. The fun never ends. Hope you're having a good weekend!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
lemon lime (now we're getting close)
But the winner was that smarty pants Adrienne over at d.c diaries, who correctly identified the mystery bean as . . . 7UP. Gross!
It's part of Jelly Bellys' soda pop series.
I'm sort of naueseous just thinking about it. Truly, I chose this bean solely for its color. But since I am easily amused, I had a excellent time all evening trying to people to taste the bean and then guess. Lemon lime was as close as anyone got.
You'll notice that I've survived last night's festivities in sufficient shape to plop myself in front of my computer (still in my robe). It was a hit. We didn't burn down the school. No one went to the hospital, and only one child cried. A full report forthcoming when I locate the camera.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
God—the horror. Freaked out, overweight kids with little paper hats in line for their tour, in line at the store counter, in line for pizza shaped like a jelly bean at the cafe. Thank goodness I had TimTim (my GPS device) to guide me safely home.
But while we're on the subject of jelly beans, riddle me this: What flavor do you think those green ones are?
The pinks are cotton candy, but the mysterious greens . . . go ahead, guess. Think outside the box of naturally occurring flavors. Way outside.
Sophie and Husband are out on their weekly date night (swimming and dinner every Thursday), and so I'm at home enjoying the calm before the storm. My dining room table is the staging area, and I'm in pretty good shape. I think.
This in spite of the fact that Husband asked tonight "But isn't the party on Saturday?" NO, DAMNIT! All I can say is, he better have that disco ball installed and operational by 6:00 sharp TOMORROW. On FRIDAY. Usually the only this he has to do for any entertaining "we" do is show the hell up, but this time I've put him in charge of a very important task. Who says I can't delegate?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Warning for the faint of heart: What follows is not pretty.
Once I'm a little more awake, I always cover my yawn with my hand.
I can blow my nose and take a picture at the same time!
Wait . . . is that really a camera?
I know: there's some hair problems going on that various products could fix. I was feeling too crappy last night to beat my hair into submission with a dryer; this is it in its natural state. It will calm down in a day or two.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This scheduled disaster is admittedly one largely of my own making. Allow me to explain by reviewing past birthday spectacles.
At five we went to a children's art studio, and I inadvertently made a cake resembling the Oakland Mormon Temple.
For six we went to a children's magic and comedy show (funny only to those under the age of seven or eight, which everyone who mattered was), and I pulled out the requested pirate ship cake.
You would think from my past birthday extravaganzi that this would be a walk in the park. But I'm a believer in what doesn't kill you can drive you slowly insane, and my mental status is clearly on the decline. A few wheels have come off the cart since those previous parties, and I've been slooooooooooooowly losing it a little more each year. By the time Sophie is in college I should be licking walls.
Nevertheless, I'm going to try to pull my ass together enough to crank out this year's cake. Thank goodness she did not request a "theme cake" but asked for "just a birthday cake." A really fancy one, of course. Fine. I let her choose from between these two:
She chose the jellybean cake, which is good because you can sort of imagine the frosting disaster the other one could turn into. Especially with the icing bag in my shaky hands.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Build her an archery range.
To go with the compound bow and arrows he bought her for her birthday.
There is a path of stairs along the side of our house that leads to what is called in this neck of the woods a "pocket park," in our view a satellite yard. No one really uses this space, and lawyers have decreed that our home owners association remove the slide and swing set that were once there. We feel it our civic duty to take over and put the space to good use. Hence, the archery range. And later this spring, our personal badminton court.
I get plenty pissed from time to time about the (lack of) progress on our house, but am I cross about this one?
Nope. Not possible. Especially since this evening I could hear peels of laughter and shrieks of delight wafting up the hill. Someone (well, maybe two of them) almost hit a bulls eye.
We hiked the Selbey to the Big Springs Trail in Tilden Park, which we live on the edge of, but not before I got out my camera to appreciate what was right in and near my own yard.
Our neighbor's flowering cherry.
Around the corner from us is an empty lot that grows over a hundred calla lilies this time each year. I sneak down with my scissors for an armful every couple of weeks.
And here's our maple tree, the star on our block. We can take no credit for it though: it came with the house.
For dinner we had barbecued rack of lamb with homemade mint jelly (we used up all I had, so I'll make some more of this soon), lemon roasted potatoes, buttered baby peas, and green salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette. Aside from the fact that this is the MIL's favorite dinner, she loves to see her mother's spring china, which has now become my spring china (sort of funny that someone who didn't register for any china for her wedding has ended up with so much of the stuff).
I hope everyone had a happy Easter no matter how they celebrated it and a good weekend if they did not celebrate it. Happy Spring.