Wednesday, April 30, 2008


These are the pieces of my first knit sweater. the big piece is the back, the tiny piece in front will be the front (eventually), and the two little side pieces are the beginnings of sleeves. After a few more hundred or so rows, I can put it all together. I will report back when there is something to actually show you that resembles clothing.

Have you seen this lately? Yes, I have a mighty big gas tank but really, this is pretty crazy. The good news is that I only had to pay 3.89/gallon vs the premium, expensive stuff, which is now $4.11/gallon.

What a world. On my way home from a depressing meeting, I was going to stop off and buy a burrito or something. Instead, I went home and made a sandwich. I am very proud of myself. Every bit counts.

Of course, yesterday I stopped off and had a Vietnamese lunch AND bought yarn. As my dad would say, one day at a time, Margie, one day at a time.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So good to be home

I'm back from Disney Institute. I admit it. I had fun. And, its good to be home.

I awoke Saturday morning (after 4 hours of sleep) with Aiden's big grin about 1 inch away from my face. He just grinned and giggled. I first started to wake when I heard the patter of his feet coming toward the bed, and then the grunting effort he made climbing up next to me. And then the grin, his tiny little toothy grin.

Saturday evening, we joined my aunt and cousins for dinner at La Cantina in Mill Valley. Complete fun. Its usually a roll of the dice with the two could have been OK or terrible. In fact, the evening was great. My cousin Pat snuck in a Chevy's birthday sombrero for my other cousin, Elizabeth.Elizabeth was visiting CA with her whole family, who my kids have never met. Instant connection. I can't remember the last time Max laughed that deeply and for that long. Ellie and James were completely cool pre-teens. James conducted table tricks and told jokes, and had us all rolling in the aisles. Max was inspired to entertain the table as well and told story after story to all who would listen. Aiden cried and cried when it was time to go home, no kidding. We all were sad to have the visit come to an end.

Sunday morning, I brought the kids to a book reading, by Magic Pickle author/illustrator, Scott Morse. He was a rock star. He showed the kids how he illustrated and came up with his crazy stories. He had them share what they liked to draw and tell stories about. Max got to bring home one of the drawings on the flip chart and got two books signed. Very cool. Aiden just wanted the cookies.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I know I missed reporting on most of the time without BZ, but I was BUSY. Hats off to single parents as well as the might-as-well-be-single-parents. You know who you are, we all do.

I will say we (me and the boys) had some fun together, even while I was a bit jealous and bitter about this birthday trip #2.

I was wondering why Aiden was so difficult over the last five days, other than being two years old...well, by Monday afternoon he was clearly ill, struggling to breathe. After a few hits on his inhaler he was much better (could breathe) and his doctor confirmed he did not have pneumonia again.

Now BZ is back and I am gone.

I got an airport shoe shine in Denver and a bad sandwich as well, which I am still feeling. No picture of disgusting sandwich, it makes me ill just thinking about it.

So now I am in Orlando at the Disney Yacht Club.
12:21am and I am waiting for engineering to deal with my wet carpet. Yuck. I am not big on changing rooms...repacking my crap. I just got here an hour ago and so I wait.

Good thing Wolf Blitzer and John King are here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Last weekend was HOT. We created an urban pool for the boys, a bit limited on swimming space but, good for a splash. Last year, we bought a blow up pool, two of them. The first one popped on the gravel. Don't ask. The second one went to a friend's house that has a lawn. I think it ended up with a hole in it before it even got there. So now, we improvise.

BZ left today for Las Vegas to meet up with his best buddies. 5 days. Day 1. I wasn't late to work. I emptied the dishwasher. I am considering laundry. These are BZ's things. I must learn the other half of the chore list. In fact, I think he does about 75% of the chores. Hmmm. Perhaps its BZ appreciation weekend..........I don't think so.
BZ gets back on Monday afternoon from crazy hot Vegas. I leave Tuesday morning for crazy hot Disney World.

Actually, the cool part about Orlando is that I will be flying for lots of hours each way, which means time to knit and read (impossible at home). I will also get sleep, sleeping by myself. I might get lonely........but in a mostly good way.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our busy weekend

Aiden loves Anika. "Anika! Anika! Anika!" As long as he is awake and not crying, this is the refrain. In fact, it has been my refrain as well. Is this the proper use of "refrain?"

Aiden is either in loads of pain at all times or, he is really a "terrible two." He has been whining and screaming A LOT lately. Very difficult. Which makes sight seeing a bit more interesting. Especially without a stroller. Yes, I almost bought one at Fisherman's Wharf.

We took the Ferry to San Francisco in the morning. It was beautiful and freezing up on the deck.
We had two hungry children when we arrived to the Ferry building and Farmer's Market, so bought apples. Very expensive organic apples from the one booth with apples, that happened to be the same farm that delivers apples to our home (yes, there are about 8 apples sitting happily in our fridge, not packed in our snack supply).

We then got onto the cable car. Expensive business, $5 to get on cable car. $5 to get on next cable car. Ah, but, the hills, the views and the whole idea of the cable car is really fun.
We went and got free samples of chocolate at Ghiradelli and then went down to the beach where the kids had a GREAT time getting drenched. NO, we had no change of clothes BUT the sun was on our side and they dried up very quickly.

We wandered thru Fisherman's Wharf, Aiden passed out (this is where the stroller would have been most helpful) and we stumbled upon the long lost Musee Mechanique!

And then we Ferried home...a much warmer ride.

A great but tiring day. I was baked. I still was concerned that we didn't share enough Bay Area culture so, after a bit of a rest, BZ and Max took Anika to Chabot to look through the telescopes. They saw Saturn. Clearly.

On the way to the airport this morning, Anika admitted that she thought the Saturn thing was fake. She said it looked too much like the pictures in her fourth grade science book. It was too real to be real.

A good visit. A very good visit. Aside from all the activity, it was great getting to know her again. And now to book Emma's trip.

First, a nap.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 2

I have to work today. Bummer.

Anika and BZ's Agenda: Metreon (cool and hip, right?) and driving out to the ocean. Then what? They will make it up....unless you call BZ with ideas.

Tonight we go to Chabot and if its clear, look through telescopes and see stars, moon and maybe even, other planets. That's cool, right?

In other exciting news:

Current research for bunion surgery pricing: Kaiser is around $1900 each foot or $9500 per foot, it all depends. Remember though, no weight on foot for 3-6 weeks.

Dr. Moy, an infomercial doctor is $5500 per foot. He assures no pain and quick recovery. Back to work in one week. Same recovery time over all but you can actually walk on the foot within the first day. Hmmm. Suspicious and attractive.

Time for my weekly shower.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 1

Anika arrived at 12:28am. We got to bed by 1:40am. Today, Thursday, was very tiring. Not that we did much but play video games, hike in the hills, eat, buy books...exhausting.

So fun. Now I am panicked about only two days to do all the other things...ocean, cable car, Chabot, Beach Blanket things for 15 year olds....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Marathon flight

Anika is coming today. Well, almost.

Anika is my niece. She is 15 and is on her spring break. She was supposed to arrive today at 2pm. It is now 11:15 pm and is still not here but according to Continental, she should be here by 12:28 am. So that's just a few hours off. Did I mention she is only 15 years old and has spent the last gazillion hours alone in airports? Did I mention her first flight alone and her fear of flying?

In good news, now she will just have a dread of airports and beg to be on a plane. Who knew it would be one of the worst days to fly in the history of flying? Certainly, not me.

In my complete panic while she had an extended lay-over in Houston, I called a local Texan friend and colleague to cover as a friendly place to stay in case the flights were canceled for the evening. She was the one who informed me about all the grounded flights and bad wiring. Bad wiring?

I promised Max to wake him and drag him him with me to greet Anika at 12:28am. We made a welcome sign this morning at 8 am. Its a bit wrinkly now. I'm a bit wrinkly too.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Health care rant

Eye exam: $105/ 15 minutes
Eye glasses (value package): $109
Podiatry informational class: $75/ 1 hour
Shoe inserts: $21
"Special" shoes: $265+tax ("the soles have 7 layers for stability")

First of all, I think I will return the $300 shoes. Perhaps they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn but, they are $300 (that's with the tax, etc) and, they are not dressy enough to wear to work SO they would not get enough wear to warrant the cost.

Let me start at the beginning of my medical adventure yesterday. I thought it was a good idea to get my eyes checked since it had been at least a few years and my night driving is...not so great. I also thought that while I was getting my eyes checked, I might as well go downstairs to podiatry and check into the "Bunion class." Yes, there is actually a class for people with bunions.

Now, it's not easy to walk into a room of people to discuss bunions. Bunions are embarrassing, anything about feet and weird ugliness of feet is embarrassing and there we are in a CLASS to discuss, out loud, this horrible little secret item about our bodies. OK so I am aware that I am now blogging about my bunions, which is even more humiliating but really, how could I not talk about a class dedicated to bunions?

So, apparently, they have been holding this WEEKLY bunion class for decades. Can you believe that that many people come to bunion classes on Monday mornings? Now that is funny. Almost funnier than my feet. Almost. Anyway, so we gather in a badly lit Kaiser classroom and a very boring man, a podiatrist, begins to speak about feet, bunions, surgery, good shoes. He shows X-rays of badly bunioned feet, he shows X-rays of the screws that are put into your feet after the grotesque procedures, that of course he describes in nauseating detail.

There was this one woman in the class who seemed crazy even when she was just checking in. For example, they asked for her name and she said, "Which one?" She explained she has 4 names, for each of her husbands. After the X-ray show, she asked if we could all do a show and tell to see who had the worst bunions. I was mortified. I was disgusted. It is bad enough to look at my own feet but look at hers? No thank you.

FYI. The surgery can only be done on one foot at a time. It would take 4-6 weeks to return to work. No stairs for at least 3-4 weeks. Crutches for 3-4 months. I don't think this surgery is meant for those with jobs or with small children or houses built straight up like ours. Perhaps those $300 shoes are affordable after all.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Baseball exposure

We went to an Oakland A's game yesterday with Linda and Tod. The weather was perfect, the seats were great (given our status as once-every-couple-of-years-fans) and the A's kicked ass. Its fun seeing a game when your team wins. Really fun.

Its not as much fun going to a game when you bring a 2 and 5 yr old who aren't really getting the ballgame vibe. Aiden had a squishy tummy (let's just keep it there) and Max wanted to spend the game at the "Fun Zone," which had a jumpy house, batting cage, tattoos, play area and the like. Not completely free and not the most fun when you have spend over $60 to bring the family to a baseball game that might even be fun to WATCH.

I will say that even with the barriers to our family and friends baseball outing, we still had a great time and are already planning a baseball date night sans wee ones.

We finally have learned why BART is so great. It goes right to the stadium. Commuting on BART is not the most fun thing but going to a game is fantastic. No parking fees, no parking lot and post game traffic, E-A-S-Y.

Max can't wait to go back. He got to meet Stomper and he won a stuffed Stomper doll as well. Oh, and he got to eat an over-priced ballpark hot dog with relish. Now that really is baseball.