Archive for the ‘entertaining’ Category

Just didn’t do it for me.  I like Brooke, Amanda and Carly.  The rest can come or go, I don’t care.  (Although I most prefer for Katie and Kristie Lee – is that their names? –  to go bye-bye).  I spent most of the time looking for a video of David Cook’s performance to show J, because she wasn’t allowed to watch it on Tuesday night.

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{Before I get started:  Sue first of all, I know I owe you doggie biscuits. Your stupid-ass team won fair and square, and while I’m LATE, I’m not welching on my bet.  I’m just waiting to see if I’m sending for two or for one – did Mr. Nim get his way?  Or are the pants firmly belted at your waist?  Second of all – Leave me the fuck alone.  If I want to watch American Idol, I’m going to watch American Idol.  So shut up.}


First of all.  I think dred guy is so fucking adorable.  I just love his face.  I like long hair – I don’t necessarily like it in dreds.  But there’s something about long hair on guys that I find really [cute?]

I don’t know that I think he’s all that great.  Other than by his eyes, and white teeth, and prettiness, I’m not really moved by him.  I also didn’t want to know that dreds “come off.”  Gross.

[Simon called him brilliant!  I just do not share that man’s taste.]

I told E when we started this show that I was not voting, but she could.

Instead, I am voting for 3 people.

1)  Little David.  (David A.) I wasn’t thrilled with his version of Imagine last week, with everyone else falling all over their puddles of drool – but tonight – the little boy, in my opinion, was amazing.  Just amazing.

2)  The other little boy.  The gay one.  I hated his interview, and I hated his text-message-talk.  And I was less than thrilled with his attitude with Simon afterward.  But his performance, in my opinion, rocked.

3) Uh, that cute boy?  The one who did The Breakfast Club Song?  I think his name is Michael [Recap says he’s Michael Johns].  I thought he did a great job.

4)  {yeah.  from my #s, it looks like I’m not voting for David A., I’m voting for the Hello dude.  David A. doesn’t need me.}

Others who I think were good but who don’t need my vote:  “Hello” (the Lionel Richie song) – holy shit.  He was really amazing.  It gave me chills;  Long Hair Boy.  Even if his dred did fall off.  He didn’t give me chills, but he’s not going anywhere.

People who should go bye-bye:  Chikezie … i didn’t think it was as unique as those I mentioned above.  It wasn’t different-enough.  Luke … whoever thinks that Wham should be given another shot is just totally fucked up.  No way.

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Seriously tired.

It’s 11:38.  I have scrubbed (and purged) the kitchen.  I have scrubbed the hardwood floors (hand and knees).  I have bought 5 bottles of wine (white), and somehow had a friend agree to bring 6 more (red).  I made Beloved bring home 2 six packs of beer.  I have had dinner with the girls.  I have attended the girls’ performance.  I have realized that I forgot to sign J up for Girl Scouts.  I have been at work all day ….

Tomorrow is the day of the meeting.   The house is in really good shape.  I’m proud of how good it looks compared to a year ago.  We’ve thrown so much crap out, and worked so hard to make it more livable (without major expenditures), and I think I’m feeling the results.

This is good, since I spent my day looking at whether or not I can buy a house with less than 20% down, and the answer seems to be “definitely.”  It appears that our bigger hurdle will be avoiding a “jumbo mortgage,” which is definitely hard to do in this very high-priced market.

Why can’t a “jumbo mortgage” be defined in relation to income, rather than just a “$415,000” mark?  Or in relation to the local housing market.  I mean … that basically means that a first home in this town MUST be a one bedroom.


I still think it might be do-able.

And if it is. I’m not wasting $10,000 on moving to another rental.  I’ll put it toward a down payment and lowering my mortgage payments.

I am a human roller coaster.

A tired human roller coaster.

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I should be tired.  I have done a lot today.  A lot of work, a lot of exercising, a lot of socializing, a lot of sports practice schlepping, a lot of cleaning, a lot of chatting, a lot of cuddling.

Work still gets an A.  Sometimes I wonder what happened.  Why am I so happy, when people talk about work environments that are supposedly similar to mine in this manner?   I know I’m not in the cut-throat city, but still.  I’m just not seeing it.  And tonight, when I walked down my hallway at 5:30 to talk to a more senior associate about holiday-gift-giving etiquette, I walked past many, many empty offices.

I know, I know.  “Give it time,” or “just you wait and see.”

zuska = optimist.

I believe that my optimism makes good things happen.  It creates a better situation.  All the time.  It’s even, in the past, caused planes to take off when flights would have otherwise been canceled.  I promise.

Tonight, we all did chores.  E took out the recycling, J dusted in the living room, Beloved scrubbed the kitchen floor, I did the bathroom and 2 loads of laundry and straightened and moved furniture to get ready for Friday.

The house is taking shape.

Tomorrow I buy wine, Beloved buys beer.  I then come home (after the girls’ performance and taking the girls out to dinner) and scrub down the kitchen counters and the hardwood floors.  Then we sleep.  On Friday, Beloved vacuums the furniture and makes salsa; I work all day and then stop at the store on my way home to get paper plates and plastic cups; I wipe down the bathroom; throw the bathroom rug in the washer (how does it get dirty so fast?  it gets dirty SO FAST that I know that washing it today will do NOTHING toward it being clean on Friday.  NOTHING); take apart the kitchen table and move it to another room, vacuum the girls’ rug and the living room rug; do a final sweep of the wood floors; set up drinks and snacks; set up all the extra chairs; and otherwise freak out.

Then on Saturday, the girls have basketball games at 10 and 11.  This is okay.  Because basketball is played at the highschool.  The high school is like, 6 blocks from our house.  We do not need a zipcar.  Hell, E doesn’t even need us to walk with her.  And the games are at 10!!  And 11!!  Not 9.  Not 8.  It is downright civilized.

Then I have to make a key lime something or other ….

Anyone have any recipes????

Because that night, we’re going to an early Hannakuh party.

Sunday, I wanted to go out for mine and Beloved’s birthdays (Tuesday and Wednesday).  But I don’t have a babysitter.  😦  Woe is me.   While my kids are able to have spurts of time home alone, I’m not too keen on leaving them home in the evening while hubby and I go out on a date.  That’s a bit much.  Too much.

I really need to go to bed, or I won’t make it to Sunday.

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I guess I haven’t blogged about the fact that I’m having potentially 30 people at our house on Friday night.


It’s a large gathering of parents in E’s grade. We are creating a support/information-sharing network for parents of middle schoolers. I somehow ended up on the planning committee for it, and although someone else (someone with a house) was going to host, they found themselves double-scheduled. I think the group will be infinitely important, useful and positive. An amazing community-builder, that will help our kids to understand how a community contributes to their development and their lives. I didn’t want it to evaporate just because no one could host.

So I decided that I could move my table out of my kitchen – like I did when I studied for the bar exam – and fill the open space we have with borrowed folding chairs, if that is what is necessary.

Look at what this requires:

I will take the kitchen table and move it into the girls’ room.


(This photo was taken from the kitchen area – see the ugly linoleum?)

I will then make the green chair and the ubiquitous “green thing” flush with the bookshelves:


(See, I already have some folding chairs, borrowed from mom and dad). I will put our kitchen chairs, and the comfy chair from the girls’ room, in the living room, making a circle with the couches.

And then, if need be, the entire entry/dining area can be filled with up to 3 rows of folding chairs. Or it can just be an extension of the circle.


And then maybe … just maybe … I’ll be able to fit everyone.

Obviously, this endeavor also requires a lot of cleaning. I was going to hire someone. But I feel like it’s just too hard to do so for this small space. We have so many space-saving techniques employed, and I think it’s a lot to ask someone to work around those. So I need to find a way to fit it in around our week. Our week that not only includes full time working, daily school and Wednesday evening basketball practice, but also two bookgroups, a potluck dinner, and homework projects. Oh yeah, and my swearing in ceremony. Oh, and it’s our town’s “welcome to the holiday season” celebration, which means the girls have to perform on Thursday night.

So I made a chart:


The girls have very little to do, which of course is only fair. I have the most to do, which is of course the way of the world. I am, after all, the person who agreed to do this. Beloved never would have done such a thing.

Not on the chart is my trip to the liquor store, where I must buy wine and beer for potentially 30 people. Huh? Also … snacks?

I just remembered I had asked Beloved to make his outstanding guacamole and papaya salsas for snacks. Isn’t this a sweet way to remind him?

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Yesterday’s trip to CT was mellow and mostly uneventful.  I hung out with a slightly jet-lagged sister, and took part in a 3-way day-long session of tittering over a baby.  My mother, sister and I made fun of ourselves all day for the way we were hovering over the 4 month old Prince.

He is really an amazing baby, and for some reason, he just adores me.  I was harboring a secret suspicion that of all the tittering aunts (well, one was a grandmother, but we were calling ourselves the aunts), I was by far his fave.  But when his mom joined the fray after her day of work, she confirmed my suspicion, and it was no longer secret or a suspicion.  The Prince loves this aunt!!  His mom said, “Zuska, he seems to have a real special bond with you, I wonder why that is??”  He he he.  Favorite aunt!  Favorite aunt!  I win!!  [Hi, sis!  Yes, as you know, I do know that I’m obnoxious.]

My sis is MY favorite aunt, though, because she did my laundry.  She folded my husband’s underwear.  Well, sort of.  she more “lay them in neat piles” because, well, they’re my husband’s underwear.

We had dinner – later than expected – and I had to be the family teetotaler, since I had to drive home.

When Beloved and I went to Amsterdam this summer, we brought home gin.  A bottle for us, and a bottle for my father – who loves gin.  He said that he has loved the gin.  Upon thinking about the gin, he jumped up and RAN to his liquor cabinet, took the gin (in its cool clay engraved bottle) and went to the basement to HIDE the gin. He came back up and as my brother and his wife were walking in the door, he whispered, “do not mention the Amsterdam gin!!!”

Why?  Because my brother would have knocked it back like so much water.  It’s not like we jet over to Amsterdam on a weekly basis to procure more gin!

I got home at 10:30, said ni-nite to my girly-q’s, and talked with Beloved for 2 hours before drifting off.  I had “hoped”* to wake at 7:30 and get my last pre-job gym session in.  Instead I woke at 9:15, and told Beloved that I would take both girls on my party errands so HE could go to the gym.

We went to the grocery store, and to the indy book store to buy a journal (E’s contribution to the Yankee Swap), and of course to Starbucks.  now we’re cleaning – but there isn’t so much to do.  We have 5 hours until the kids come.  J is leaving at the moment that one of the girls gets picked up.

Hopefully, all will go well tonight and tomorrow a.m.  I’m crossin’ my fingers.  Maybe before the last of the girls go home, my parents and sister will arrive.  We’re going to have cake for E and my dad, and we’re going to my favorite restaurant to consume beer and delicious food.

I realized while lying in bed last night that my beer intake must be severely monitored and limited tomorrow.  It is the first time since February that I’m saying this – but I have to go to work the next day, and don’t want to be nursing a hangover.

And I have like zero time to try on my outfit for the first day, and make sure I’m happy with it.  I’ve over packed this final weekend, to say the least.

* “hoped” here means “these are the words I’m using, but in reality, all I want to do is sleep, and for the forces of the universe – and my ability to sleep through alarm clocks – conspire to keep me in the bed until it is too late to go to the gym.”

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Book group went great.  Quite a few people had to show up late, so it was a very slow trickle in.  We didn’t have a full house until 10.  My friends who have been here on several ocassions made comments and faces over the pristine condition of the apartment.  Except one of them said (with only 2 others here, thankfully), “Oh!  Come see the beds that [Beloved] made in the girls’ room!”

The girls’ room which had been play-date central all afternoon, and while it had been clean at 2, it was a disaster by 5:30 when the girls were doing “routines” and rifling through the clothes drawers to find matching outfits.  Not to mention the “stuffed animal town” they had previously created and then kicked around during their “routine.”  So yeah.  People saw my pristine house, and then went through the door to “real Zuska-ville.”

Oh well.

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Making Good Time

I have been cleaning and otherwise prepping for tonight’s gathering since I dropped the girls off at 9 a.m.  I went to one store on the way home – having forgotten my reusable grocery bag, and also having forgotten that I was carrying my beloved cup of coffee, and therefore could not easily carry 2 bags of groceries home.  I realized that after I paid and packed myself into 2 bags.

Since it would be a cold day in hell before I ditched my triple venti non fat latte, I just carried 2 impossibly full paper grocery bags in one hand while sipping from the other.

Priorities, I tell ya.

I scrubbed the floors and the bathroom while the girls sang and danced.  When I went to pick them up, I forced them and their friends to trail after me as I contemplated the 1-sentence blurbs for several different wines.  I think four bottles will do it for tonight.  That’s more than 1/2 a bottle per person.  (There are 10 women in the group, at least 3 can’t come.  I haven’t heard from at least two.)  And not everybody will have some.  I have one extra bottle – just in case.

[long pause while I think for a minute]

Shit.  Now I’m worried that I need more wine.


I have really cleaned a lot.  The house looks weird.  I’m not even sure who lives here.

All I have left is the kitchen, and then the final re-sweep and re-vacuum.  That’s it.  It feels so …. wrong.  Like I’ve stolen someone else’s identity.

The kids have been pretty cooperative.  E’s friend decided she was overloaded after the long and intense weekend and went home earlier than expected, and J’s friend is playing with both girls as if she’s one of my own kids.  They’re getting along great.  They’re at the park right now, on scooters and roller blades.

I am irritated with myself:  Our stupid annoying too-small apartment does not have any cross-breeze ventilation.  We only have windows on 2 walls of the building, and in no room is there more than 1 wall with a window.  The result is that when we cook, the smells take a long time to dissipate.  I know this.  Therefore, I planned ahead, asking Beloved to please plan to make a chef salad tonight.  No cooking required.  No lingering stinkiness when company arrives.

So guess what I go and do?

Make popcorn for the girls.  Microwave popcorn.  With butter.  Butter that smells like barf.

Really smart, Zuska, really f’ing smart.

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