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Archive for December, 2007

My daughters – two wonderful, intelligent, creative, funny, loving individuals – are spending their holiday vacation with their biological father. 

They arrived in his care on Monday (Christmas Eve) at approximately noon.

Christmas was Tuesday.

Woe – wait.

Guess when they last saw their biological father?

Well, that would be August 5th.

I spoke with E on Wednesday – her 2nd or 3rd day with her biological father.

She was telling me of some strange voice mail recordings on her cell phone.

I responded with, “Did you share them with [fuck-head]? What did he think?]

She responded: “I can’t, he’s been out all day – he isn’t here.”

OH.

I see.

I know that the vast majority of parents need a break. They want their parents, or in-laws, to give them a hand iwth hte kids – to give them some breathing room – some adult time.

But the vast majority of parents have contact with their kids more than 10% of the year.

Seriously – my ex does NOT.

Does he really need a break?

After 48 hours?

If I only saw my girls for a total of [quickly doing math] 25 – 35 DAYS!!! per year … you can be certain that I’m not “going out” for a day – or even an evening – while I am with them.

But I also would never make the decision to live first 1,000 and then 2,000 miles away from them. After moving 3,000 miles away — the distance only shortened by their other parent’s decision to go to law school on the other coast.

Why does he continue to take their summers from them? To insist on removing them from their everyday lives? I do not understand. If his time with them is so very disposable – why put them through it?

I am anxious for some explanations. If anyone has a theory – or a disagreement with my assessment – please, let it be known.

I do not understand.

They’re such great people.

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Next up .. Holiday Lessons

I do not really like gin.

It gives me a horrible taste in my mouth.

Icky.

I like vodka. (mmmm)

Gimlets, basically made with liquor and sweetened lime juicea, are better with vodka than with gin.

I am capable of replicating the Gimlet at my local fancy-pants bar … the one where you add a little raspberry liqueur (Chambord) .. and it’s really good.

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At approximately 5 p.m., someone in my firm sent out an e-mail offering Patriots tickets for tomorrow’s game.

The Patriots are my team.

I want to watch the Patriots play football, in person.

    But when the e-mail arrived in my box, I had a moment where 1,000 thoughts flashed through my mind, as follows:

  • I have approximately 90 seconds to reply to this email.
  • Where the hell are they even playing?
  • What would Beloved think?
  • I wish E were home – it’s her I’d really want to bring
  • Isn’t it supposed to RAIN tomorrow?
  • If they’re in New York (game’s against the Giants, that much I knew), I’ll have to get a zipcar for the whole day, and maybe more – this is a lot of money – I know I (for once) actually have it, but still.
  • We were supposed to take care of J’s computer tomorrow
  • What if the seats suck?

Well.

  • They’re here, in MA
  • The seats rock
  • Beloved if upset with me (as in, disappointed – not as in mad)
  • E is mad (not disappointed) – apparently preferring to hear first-hand accounts to nothing at all
  • We really can afford it (tickets were offered at $80/each …. uh?  yeah.  we can do $160).
  • This is an amazing year – probably not to be duplicated. 
Clearly, I didn’t snatch the tickets.  Someone had them within 60 seconds … and I could have, if I didn’t hesitate.  
I wish I didn’t hesitate. 

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Holiday Failures

8 pounds up.  

Damn it!!  

I, as a result, found my way to the gym today.  

It was my first time using my iPod touch for the purpose for which it was intended.

Wow.  Was it gorgeous.

Seriously.  That Prison Break boy was cute to start with, but now he’s super cute.  And gorgeous.  But that was the iPod as much as it was him.

Hopefully I can continue to work in the work out (ha ha – play on words).  

It is not easy.

My hourly rate just went up.

That makes me feel like I must justify my cost – by working more.  The more I work, the more experience I have, and the more I’m worth those ridiculous numbers.

 But I need to work OUT, as well.

 Damn! (Again)

 There need to be more hours in the day! 

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I have no idea

why my paragraph breaks aren’t showing up.  I downloaded Leopard for my Mac a few weeks ago.Since then, Firefox is crashing pretty much every 10 minutes.So I uninstalled it, and now am on Safari.  I think I’ll try re-installing Firefox sometime soon – once I catch up with all the work I have to do.But in the meantime, is it Safari’s fault that I have no paragraph breaks in my posts?  I mean, this post alone has 5 of them, but yet it shows up as a single blocked paragraph.  

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I keep giving it in dribs and drabs.  When something happens that makes me either feel especially happy with him, or especially UNhappy with his competition, I throw $25 at him.  Yeah, $25.  Beloved has an acquaintance who lives in Iowa, and who could not decide if participating in next week’s events was worthwhile.I think if I was in Iowa, I would be thrilled.  I would be thrilled with the chance to do my part in stopping Hilary, Huckabee, Romney & Thompson.  The people I most want stopped.  I hope that my work slows down just enough that I’ll have time to keep up with the drama of the next few months.   Maybe I’ll even give Obama a couple more $25s.  

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I have been sad about the tiger incident since the first time I read about it, at post-Christmas day 3 a.m., while suffering from insomnia.  I used to visit those tigers.  I’ve seen Tatiana in person.My first sadness was over the re-realization that no matter how much tigers seem like the world’s biggest, cuddliest kitty cat, they really want to rip my throat out.   I love those animals.  Tigers and lions and leopards.  I always have.  When I go to the zoo, I could sit there and watch the cats forever.Once, in Oakland, a tiger peed on my shoe.  That zoo had a fence, not a moat.  Apparently, the fence allows visitors to get within pee-ing distance of the tigers, without endangering their lives.I am upset that a tiger got shot.  Not in relation to anything else about the story – it’s just SAD.I am upset that people think it’s fun to torment animals – even if that is not what happened here (although I believe it is, despite the lack of hard evidence) – there are accounts of it being a new “fun afternoon” for teens.  “Hey, Dudes!  Let’s go to the zoo and give the gorilla hell!”  Apparently, the gorilla at the SF Zoo now gives visitors the finger when they bother him.  Unless they bother him too much, then he starts to pace and shake and get really agitated. Poor little kitty.

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Fast Week

Wow.  It’s Friday.My schedule is all messed up, and apparently, my alarm clock is following suit.I fear I need a new one.  I’m desensitized to this one.  I set it for 5:20 a.m., but yet, when I woke up, it was 6:57 a.m., even though it said the alarm was still set, and snoozing.I think I slept through snoozes for an entire hour, when it then shut off.Oops.  Fortunately, this is a good week for that.  With no kids at home, I’m not rushing to get my billables in before 5 p.m.  Last night, I even ate dinner at the office.Beloved worked late, and so did I.  At approx 4 p.m., I thought “ugh!  I said I’d work until 8?  That’s 4 more hours!  And I’ve been here for 8 already!”  But it went by quickly, and I got a lot done.Not really enough, though.I have to decide if I’m going into the office tomorrow, or just bringing the laptop home for the weekend.  Decisions, decisions.Other than that – I haven’t been much in the blogging mood.  Not sure why.  Just not up for it lately.   

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And quite frankly – no. I’m not sad.

We had our holiday. It was the day marked on our calendar all year. We had a fantastic holiday – with a delicious dinner, family and fun gifts. It was everything we had hoped for.

Today did not feel like a holiday.

[Oddly, and perhaps the topic of another post – it doesn’t feel as much like a holiday in public, either, as I’m used to.  Anyone else feel like there’s a bit of spark missing?]

The girls left wondering what sorts of stuff they’d accumulate while gone, dreading the heat, and looking forward to seeing loved ones.

One conversation:

Me [to E]: Are you excited to go to [state]?

E: YES!!!!

Me: What would you do if the flight was canceled right now?

E: JUMP FOR JOY!!

Me: Honey – you just said you were excited

E: That’s because that’s what you wanted me to say. You want me to be happy, and excited, and so that’s what I said, but I’d rather stay home.

Oh. Okay.

J was a little nervous last night that the plane would crash. Which made me a bit nervous. To say the least. I cuddled with her in her bed until she fell asleep, feeling safe in her mommy’s arms, and there was little sign of the fear this a.m.

They got on the plane without incident. And I know they’ll have a good time, because a) they often do, and b) they’re at their grandmother’s house, and she works hard to spend time with them and make sure they have a good time. In age appropriate wys.

They brought gifts, they brought summer clothes. They’ll have fun.

Meanwhile …

Beloved and I went shopping at Whole Foods on our way back from the airport, and we bought filet mignon, scallops, jumbo shrimp, the fixins for scalloped potatoes, asparagus, fancy olives, fancy cheeses, and anything else that was too-expensive-for-kids and delicious.

Then we came home and took a giant NAP (I am a bit under the weather, and airport-wake-up-time was 5 a.m.) We got up, and I went to the liquor store to buy the ingredients for gimlets and martinis, since my parents endowed me with a new bar set, and then we went to a MOVIE!

We saw No Country for Old Men. I liked it. I think Beloved did, too.

Then he made bacon-wrapped scallops and grilled asparagus, and I tried a specialty Gimlet featured at a bar up the street (it’s yummy … a traditional gimlet with a splash of Chambord Liquer to color/taste things up a bit).

Christmas day’s agenda?

  1. sleep until we don’t feel tired anymore
  2. go see “I Am Legend”
  3. Then skip over to “Sweeney Todd”
  4. Come home – where I may do work. Like, lawyer-work.
  5. He will make dinner — the filets, the potatoes, some green beans.
  6. While I nibble on cheese and olives and make more gimlets. We found the martinis to be way too strong and straight. I should check into the fruity ones for another time – but for now, all the stores are closed.
  7. Then we’ll watch a movie at home.

No stress, no pressure.

Just the two of us, good movies and good food – while knowing that the girls are spending time with people who love them, and that they are happy.

If they’re not happy – E has her cell phone on her, and she can let me know without permission or supervision.

Ahhhh, children growing up. How nice.

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[written on 12/22]

Last night was our Solstice celebration. It went very well.

We had a nice dinner together, with holiday music in the background, then we pulled last minute things together and sat around the tree (i.e., Solstice Shrub).

While we were waiting for Beloved to finish up so we could open presents, E remarked on the relatively small number of presents under the tree. She was not complaining. She said she remembered how, when she was younger, it was so exciting to see the huge mound of presents under the tree. But that by the end of the morning, it was all very overwhelming. She said that she liked how it felt more relaxing to have less.

Then she spoke for me, and said that it was partly because she and her sister never bothered to think of each OTHER in regard to the holiday, and so there were at least 2 less gifts under the tree.

[grumble grumble says the mom, noticing that they each thought of TWO secret santa gifts for their friends at school, but had to have teeth pulled from their heads before they could think of something for their parents, and never thought of anything for each other. grumble grumble.]

It doesn’t matter that the mound of gifts was small, though – this was by far the most I’ve ever spent at the holiday season.

What does this mean our materialism and the holiday? I’m not sure.

I decided way back when they first came out with the video Nanos that I wanted to get them for the girls. I liked the size of them – I love the practicality of iPods (how much easier is this? Than having giant albums or shelves full of CDs?). I didn’t think that they cost too much for the benefits they gave.

Yet, they’re expensive, and as gifts go – they’re a biggy.

But in the interest of having a less materialistic holiday, should I buy them for the kids as soon as I think of it? Should they think it’s just normal to come home from school and casually be handed the latest tech toy?

In other words – every thing we got for the holiday was something we were going to get. We waited, or hurried, for the holiday, because it gave us a reason to buy these things for each other (and in some ways, with Beloved and I, for ourselves). It justified the financial outlay. But then our holiday, which is an attempt to move away from the commercialism of Christmas, did end up quite gift-centric, and we all were quite spoiled.

We did not get “filler” gifts. We did not aim to make the pile under the tree bigger. I started my annual guilty twinges yesterday (there’s not enough! we need more!), and Beloved stopped me. The point is not to make a giant pile of gifts. But I was worried that Beloved had so few things. But as you will see … one of his things cost more (but just barely) than everything else under the tree combined.

The run down:

The girls loved their nanos, and their books from Beloved: E got the Complete Far Side Collection, and J the Complete Calvin & Hobbes. Both set are very well done and beautiful inside and out. We also got them a docking station for their iPods. When we were done opening gifts, and even in the middle of the gift opening – and again this morning – the books were devoured. They poured over their own and each others, and were very impressed with them.

J spent a lot of time with her Nano last night, but E was content to wait until today (and the books and sledding have still taken priority).

I got Beloved a MacBook Pro.

It’s actually something that he’s needed/wanted for years, and we haven’t been able to afford it. With me in school, extra tech funds often got poured into being certain I had what I needed, and he just got my hand-me-downs and leftovers.

Finally, he gets to have the newest computer in the house, and – quite frankly – the fanciest!

He more than deserves it.

And the girls got him Photoshop for Mac.

I got an iPod touch (woo hoo! It’s so gorgeous!) and a watch. Beloved and I actually went shopping together for the watch. I think it’s this one (the smaller), except that face looks white, and mine is a pearly-silver.

I am in love with my watch. I haven’t had one since my old one broke on the day of the bar exam (isn’t that scary? Is there a day in the life of a law student/post grad that you need a watch more than THAT DAY? And mine broke? But it didn’t break until 7 p.m. Isn’t that also a little scary?).

I also got a great big thirsty wonderful bathrobe in forest green. It almost makes me want to take a shower.

Almost.

I still don’t feel good after all.

So we were all spoiled, and we were all very appreciative.

And while I think that this year was this way for many reasons (first time we have funds to make these kinds of purchases; short on time and planning; sheer laziness), I hope that next year we can return to a bit more of the home-made flavor of our Solstices in the past.

I think I missed it.

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