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Archive for the ‘weekends’ Category

I had a delicious time off.  It was absolutely rejuvinating, and a great time for the girls and I.  We had a lot of together time, including conversations, games of Monopoly, Frisbee sessions, walks, frappucinos, smoothies, races, long drives to Connecticut, a day in New York City, time with the grandparents and with the baby cousin, etc.

Now they’re singing, and it’s giving me a headache.  They’re bickering, and it’s like fingernails down the chalkboard.

Tomorrow, I head back to work ….

WOO HOO!!!!

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My family thinks me evil, but I just feel done.  Zipcar is fun, and it’s useful, and it’s served us very well.  But yesterday, I had to set my alarm for 8 a.m. and call a cab to take me to the car that zipcar switched my reservation to.  It cost $10 to get there, and then tonight, at 9:15 p.m., another $10 to get me back home from the new reservation spot.  It is a reimbursable $20, but it takes time for me to 1) take a cab, 2) wait for cabs, and 3) submit receipts for reimbursement.  I don’t like it.  I am glad that the car I reserved wasn’t allowed to stay on the road with bad brakes, but I don’t know why they couldn’t move a working car into the spot I had made arrangements for – a spot that is 2 blocks from my house.

Also, the new house has 2 parking spots included in the rent.  At our current building, we would have to pay $170/mo for one parking spot.  It was so easy to smile at the fact that we didn’t need to pay extra for a spot.

Also (oh, my list is long), the new house is .4 miles from our current house – but it’s .4 miles further from the center of town, further from Trader Joe’s, further from Whole Foods, even further from Stop & Shop (ick).  The only useful businesses it is not further from is a) a CVS (pharmacy) that sucks and never has anything and that has employees that are so slow and so non-responsive so as to make every visit an exercise in patience, and b) an awesome liquor store that I likely shouldn’t live so close to.

Also, the girls want to play more and more sports.  Next year, both of them will be on soccer fields far away from home.  It’s nice that we have a great social network that allows for carpooling and ride sharing, but I think the older they get, the more they’re going to want to do, and I am not that comfortable with just relying on others to transport my kids – I have always pitched in, but people always feel weird about it when they know that I’m “renting a car” in order to drive.

Therefore, I’ve made the proclamation:  In 2009, I’m buying a car.

I know I can’t get away with (nor do I want) anything but a Hybrid.  But while I love the Prius, Beloved does not.  He doesn’t like the mirrors – or something.  I looked at the Hondas, but they both (accord and civic) had negatives that outweighed the positives.  The Car & Driver reviews spent the whole thing talking about why the Hondas weren’t as good as the Prius.

So Beloved said, “check out the Volt!  Let’s wait for the Volt!”

So I checked it out.

Uh….

voltfront2.jpg

I think it may want to eat me.  I decided that considering that you can drive up to 40 miles a day without even touching a drip of gas, and considering that it’s really freaking cool and the beginning steps at non-gas driven vehicles, I could deal with the scary look of it, and be proud of my electric car.

But then my research showed that it isn’t expected to be for sale until 2010, and right now is looking like it could come out at around $45,000.  The more digging around I do, the more I see that we will certainly be dealing with a “waiting list” situation, and that it likely won’t be widely available for at least a year after that.

Hey!  I didn’t want to pay $45,000, and I didn’t want to wait until mid 2011.  Hell, I don’t want to wait until January of 2009 – I want a car NOW – but I’m not willing to screw up our finances while we’re looking forward to our move in July and hopefully a week in Maine in August and and and.

This is our new deal:  I get my Prius in 2009.

prius_image1.jpg

If Beloved really hates it that much, he’s welcome to keep using zipcar.  Then, in 2011 when the Volt comes out, he can have that.  Perhaps (she says after hearing the girls yell in disgust at the idea that we would have two cars), we will lease the Prius for 2 years, and then return it and buy a Volt in 2011.

The girls are pouting, Beloved is slightly scowling over the fact that I essentially made this decision on my own, but I am looking forward to being able to grab my own keys and walk 2 feet from my own door to hop in a car to run to Target or to the Apple store, rather than make arrangements a week ahead of time.  Heck, I could even decide last minute to go and visit my nephew!!

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It was a busy weekend.

  1. E had a friend sleep over on Friday night.  It went well.  It is a friend who I have had some issues with before – her behavior, her negativity, her influence on E.  There was none of that this weekend.  She was flexible, fun, and really pleasant to have around.  It was very nice.  She’s the daughter of a friend, so it was good that it went well.
  2. Both girls had basketball games on Saturday a.m.  Beloved took J to her early game (where she scored a basket, and was very proud, because it was against the Tall Team).  E and her friend walked to theirs alone.  No.  I did not go. There are only two teams in their age bracket (b/c it’s 6-8th grades, and 7th and 8th graders can play for the school teams, and usually choose that over the town team).  Every week, the two teams play each other.  It’s very casual, not competitive, and frankly — boring.  E doesn’t care if I’m there or not, just enjoys running around with her friends.  If I am there, she spends more of her energy monitoring my conversations with other parents (to be sure I don’t say her name …. even if I say “Oh, E is due for a teeth cleaning” or “E’s birthday is in September” she hears her name and has a fit) than she does playing the game.
  3. My parents came in at noon on Saturday.  Mom was having some back pain, so they were a little slow-moving, which was fine with us.
  4. E went to a movie with friends.
  5. J had a girl scout meeting – where she baked bread.
  6. Me, Beloved, Mom and Dad went to see a three bedroom apartment that is for rent. It was pretty nice, but short a bathroom and probably one room.  I also was totally put off by the other occupant of the 2 family house, which may or may not be the owner’s mother-in-law.  Things were a little fuzzy. I think that the space issues could have worked out, but the downstairs person was the deal killer.
  7. Once we collected the girls back at home, we all went out to dinner.  At your typical chain steak-house, which is the sort of place we always go with my parents.  They don’t like my favorite places, they find them “weird” – but I’ll take a steak any day.  J had salmon, and E ate a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs.  The food was pretty good.  My dad got all sappy on me when I offered to pick up the tab …. something about being so proud that I am now in a position where I can do that, but that he won’t let me until I’m “caught up.”  I don’t know waht that means.  Do I have to catch up with HIM?  Catch up with my bills?  Pay off all my school loans?  Whatever he meant – thanks for dinner, dad.
  8. Then, this morning, we cursed the time change as Beloved trudged off to a Sunday morning meeting and my parents and I left two sleeping children to go and see my office.  My parents were duly impressed.  They liked my view, the name plaque on my door, and the building at large.  I think my air-conditioning-fixing dad was a bit proud of his eldest child.  He couldn’t have said so more times.  Mom was just happy to see all the pictures of E and J around the room (and both her nephews, as well).  I think she was reassured that my job does not mean that I’ve forgotten that I still have 2 kids.
  9. We then came home and I dragged the girls out of bed at ELEVEN AM!!!  Shit!!  I know it only felt like 10 them.  And 10 is a normal weekend wake up time for them.  But today it was ELEVEN.  Which does mean that now, at 11:28 p.m., I can hear E tossing and turning and sighing heavy, frustrated, insomniatic sighs.
  10. My dad made waffles.  I don’t know what he did, but the house still smells like syrup.  What the fuck?  We had pancakes yesterday, and the house didn’t smell like syrup all day.  I think it’s because despite the real Vermont maple syrup that we stay stocked in, Dad brought his Aunt Jemima’s, and those artificial flavorings have chemically attached themselves to the paint.  Even Beloved’s stir fry couldn’t rid us of the smell.
  11. I did 8 loads of laundry.
  12. Mom, Dad and I went to 4 open houses.  As in – homes for SALE.  There were several nice ones.  I am not going to push to buy right now.  Even though our jumbo mortgage limit in the Boston area was raised to the point that I likely can buy a few of them.  I’m just not willing to do so just to find myself upside down in a year or so, wanting to move b/c my condo is too small for 2 teenagers and all their friends that they keep dragging home.  I’m resigned to be a renter for a couple more years.  Just not here.  It’s too small.
  13. Then they left.  My parents.  And I was going to go with E to a play, but I was quite frankly exhausted, so I bowed out, and spent some time organizing my ridiculous amounts of clothing, hanging out with J and Beloved, and resting for a minute, because I knew I had to …
  14. Go to the “let’s talk about our 6th graders” meeting that was scheduled for tonight.  Ugh.  That was stressful.  It was about relationships and dating.  About whether or not kids have sex in high school, whether there’s kissing in 6th grade, and whether kids are “grinding” on the dance floor at their little dances this year.   This requires a post of its own.  Because from that discussion came at home discussions, and things just went spiraling off into weirdness (as J called it, until I told her it was NOT weird, it was normal, because it all happens to everyone, and if it didn’t, then there would be no people).  Oh yeah, we had a sex talk, baby.  Replete with erections and ejaculations and the difference between semen and urine.  Beloved was dragged into it, and was stellar.  I shall try to remember to post more about this tomorrow.
  15. It’s a little more stressful that next time, I somehow ended up the chair of the meeting.  Ugh.  We will be talking about Freedom for 6th graders.
  16. Then E caught me snooping around on her phone.  I tried to turn the volume down, and was looking at who she called and who called her, and she came out of her room.  I had time to hide the phone in a towel, and she said, “I’m looking for a book.”  And Beloved told her to go to bed.  But then she found her book and said, “oh, I should put my phone in my purse.  Oh.  Where’s my phone?  I thought I put it right there.”  Dammit.  She totally heard me before I turned the volume down.  All I could was laugh and say, “fine, it’s right here, you snot, stop erasing your text messages.”  She laughed at me and said, “mom! They were all to you!!”  But she didn’t erase her call log, and there’s no denying that a certain boy has been calling her almost daily.  The calls are quick.  Not long.  She tells me that they involve questions about homework and such.  Hmmmm.

And that is what happened on yet another weekend where Zuska brought her work computer home just to leave in her bag all.  weekend.  long.

Fortunately, there are no deadlines until Wednesday.

I don’t blow off deadlines.

Really.

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Of course, Beloved and I made up last night, said our sorries and talked about ways to make our arguments a bit less … argue-ey.  I suppose we should be grateful that we argue over dusting, and not over the biggies – like money or whether or not to have another kid or stuff like that.

The girls are home.  J is sleeping on me right now.  Which is probably the first time she has done this is 5 years or something.  She left with a new cold a week ago, and it’s still got her feeling like shit today.

Since we were given stories of midnight bed times, trips to water parks, and frozen pizza for both lunch and dinner days in a row – I shouldn’t be surprised that her cold has lingered.

Grrr.  argh.

I went to two open houses today.  Both condos close to home and in the girls’ school district.  One is likely out of my price range, and of course perfect.  The other is probably right in our range, and itty bitty.  For us.

The perfect one was really close to perfect.  It was around 1900 square feet (1200 more than we have now), and on top of three bedrooms, has a study and what I keep calling a “family room.”  Eat in kitchen and a dining room.  Two full baths.

The works.

It’s also 3 doors down from the high school.  Which, in just over 2 years, will be extremely convenient and hopefully will preclude E from ever being late to school.

Did I really just say “just over 2 years”?  Is that right?  Next winter, she’s in 7th, and the next, 8th.  Which is pre-high school.

So, yeah.  Just over 2 years.  Or rather “less than 3 years.”

Anyway, it’s a bit high for us.  I think if the seller is inflexible, then we’re just gonna have to walk away.  If we find that offers are accepted, we will be a little thinly stretched for the rest of this year, but will be fine next year.  An August or September closing date would make it all easier.

No work would be required upon walking in the door, but we eventually have some projects already in mind in order to increase the flow of the rooms.  We would have an office.  And a dining room.  And a laundry room.  And a gas stove.  And a screened porch – perfect for the kitty litter and a summer-time table big enough to hold a bottle of wine and two glasses.  And a park across the street where the kids could (and likely would anyway) congregate with their friends.  And E (and eventually J) would have no reason to be late coming home from the dances, and I could watch them for their entire walk home to be sure that they weren’t sneaking smooches or trips behind the gym for any inappropriate activity.

he he he.

That alone makes the stretching worth it – doesn’t it?

They likely won’t mind the spy opportunities, since it will be balanced out by the fact that they will have their own suite on their own floor with their 2 bedrooms, their own bathroom, and my laundry room – that’s it.

Which is really hysterical to me, because when I was 9, I moved to my parents’ downstairs, and soon after, my dad redid the whole downstairs, and it became a place for just me and my sister – our two bedrooms, a bathroom, and my mom’s laundry room.

It would be very funny if my girls got the same.  Only theirs wouldn’t be a basement, but a lovely second story in a beautiful building overlooking (out very pretty bay windows) the park.  And their bedrooms would be bigger.  A little ridiculously big.  I think bigger than mine and Beloved’s, but ours is fancier and is right next to our own study and library, respectively.  So there.

The other condo is less exciting and more settling, and I don’t think we need to think about it too much until we see what the spring brings to the market.

Both of them, though, are in ideal locations.  With friends and parks and walking distance to present and future schools.  Oh, and also my train.  And still Beloved’s work.  Probably closer for all of us.

Delicious.

Time to shake the dreams out of my head, and go watch the Oscars.  We saw less contenders this year than we have in the past, which is sad.  I tried so hard to see Juno with a friend, and if Beloved and I hadn’t caught J’s cold before she left for the Middle of the county, we likely would have seen There Will Be Blood.  But as it stands, we’re stuck having seen only Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men.

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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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I have a wicked sore throat and all over achy-ness. Beloved and J were suffering from this over the past week – we let J go into school late because of it yesterday, and she put herself to bed early all week. Beloved earned “sleeping in” rights in the mornings.

And now that I have it, I’ve earned an afternoon to myself. But do I want it?

I feel kinda lonely.

But when they were all just home, I was grouchy and cranky and whiney and pouty.

So maybe they have all earned my afternoon alone.

Ha.

The girls met friends at the sledding hill, and Beloved is helping out with the pre-Christmas insanity at work.

I am blogging.

And whining.

And I think getting ready to watch some Heroes episodes on Hulu, thanks to my friend Sue.  She posted some episodes for me previously, but now, thanks to her, I have independent viewing rights, and can watch from Episode 1 of the current season.  It’s so good to see my old heroes again.  Sweeties that they are.

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When E was in 2nd grade, I read her some books.  3 books.  Outloud.  Every night, after her sister went to bed, we curled up in my bed, and read a story.

I was a single mom at the time.  For some of the year, we lived just the 3 of us, and for some of the year, my sister and her son were in the house.  I think my sister listened in on some, when she was around.

First we read the Golden Compass.

Then the Subtle Knife.

Then the Amber Spyglass.

Yes, she was 7.  Or 8.  I’m not sure which.

And I read her stories about souls being wrenched out of humans, and of religion as evil, and of young, young love.  Stories of hell, of death, of courage and strength.  Stories that wrestled with the fabric of the universe, with the afterlife, with the “what ifs” of other worlds.

Beloved has chastised me for this ever since.

I may protest a bit too much when I say, “yeah, and it was FINE!  She loved the books!  I read them outloud – we talked all through – she asked questions, it was FINE!!!”

But now she’s 11, and the first book (or as E will complain loudly about – 3/4ths of the first book) is now a movie.

We went to see it today.

Just the 2 of us, because I don’t allow my children to see movies before they read a book.  At least a good book.  I refuse to have anything to do with their mental pictures being created by Hollywood instead of by their beautiful brains.  (Oh, and E re-read it on her own during 5th grade).

Sometimes their father flips me the bird and takes them anyway.

But that’s because he can be a fucker, when he wants to.

________________________________ 

There was a scene that struck home my old love of the books:

The 12 year old girl was having an altercation with her benefactor; unaware that the icy, nasty, manipulative woman is her mother.  Until that point, their relationship was cordial, and the girl felt lucky to be taken in by a wealthy woman, after having lived in the care of a college – scholars and servants.

But there was a test of wills.

Between the woman and the child, there was a cold stare, a defiant glare, and at the most, the grabbing of the child’s arm.

Their little daemons, though – these animal-formed physical manifestations of the humans’ SOULS.  Souls!!  The woman’s daemon attackd the child’s, pinning it to the ground.  The kids’ daemon (in cat form) took a fully submissive pose, despite it’s hair on ends, and regretfully gave in to the attack.  A full-on attack.

And I thought – wow.  You see a mom bitch at her kid in public, in thier house.  You may see a kid slightly shrink back.  Perhaps a little bit of numbness in the eyes.  You may think, “wow, that tone seemed kind of harsh.”  But you don’t see the absolute wrestling match of the wills.

But it goes on all the time.

It would be really helpful, I think, if we had that window into each other.

I want a daemon.

But I also want everyone else to have one, too.

______________________________ 

I do not recommend the movie.  Not until you read all THREE books.  They are incredible.   Then I will tell you that the movie was pretty well done.  The characters were nicely drawn, the plot quickened, but far from stripped.  It was stripped of some subtlety, but I think that was a pass to the Catholic Church.  Who obviously never read the damned books.

___________________________

Afterward, E and I went and bought her a MacBook.  That was fun, too.

Finally, around 4:30 p.m., we were home again.  We had big plans to decorate the tree (J and Beloved put it up today), but instead, J had a weird, random crying fit that she had forgotten to type a report (due Weds.)  That took some time.  First to get the old Dell computer to respond to any key strokes or mouse clicks (seriously, it took an HOUR), then to get her to stop the crying, and then for her to do the actual work.

Hopefully we’ll decorate our solstice shrub tomorrow (our celebration of the season, and not of anyone’s birth-so-he-can-die-for-me).  I have been watching my co-workers one-by-one leave “new associate transition period” and enter “regular associate slammed-with-work period” and fear that my turn is around the bend.  Will I have to post-pone tree trimming?  Will I have to cancel my Christmas weekend with my parents next weekend?  Will I have to give up a vacation day the week after?  I sort of feel like all of those are possibilities, from what I’ve seen.

We shall see.

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