Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekend 3-Way: how goes it?

It’s been an eventful week for meandyouandellie, what with the hospitalizations and threats of major canine surgeries and champagne corkage competitions and all.

So, to co- bloggers and readers alike, I inquire:

“how’s it going?”

I highly recommend that you respond in a high-point low-point manner. It’s fun, and so efficient!


Fine, thanks! As I updated in the comments of my doggie woe post, the surgery that we thought was imminent is now merely a foreshadowing of horrors to come a bit farther down the line. But denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, so if it’s not happening now, that means it’s not happening, right? RIGHT! Yay!

High Point: See above, carefree denial.

Also, this meal:

Oh my word, what a delectable feast! Such a treat, such a favorite new spot, and my delightful dinner companion made the experience the highest of high points. When discussing the packing up of what we were unable to finish, she said: "My life is too complicated for leftover Indian food." As long as Beth is laid up, I have a very real shot at stealing Pat for my very own.

Low Point: The horror of the surgical consult for Moki. Not the consult itself, that was awesome. But… picture this. The dog joins me to drop the kids off at school, and is distraught when they flee the vehicle (Yes, flee. We are always late). She whines all the way to the vet. We arrive; I disembark, grabbing my coffee, the giant folder of xrays, my notes, my purse, my anxiety, and the leash to tether my 85 pound sasquatch. I can’t tell which door I’m supposed to go in, so I try one. There is a very sad person sitting on the floor with a very sick animal, which my demented charge attempts to greet, frolic with, and possibly consume. We are not popular. We flee. We find the right door; I spend the next 10 minutes trying to fill out a clipboard full of paperwork while managing to contain the wildebeest. And drink my coffee. I could not remember the name of her dog food, so I actually wrote “The Dick van Dyke kind.” She eats Natural Balance, created by Dick van Patten. I had to list the medication she is taking, but I couldn’t remember so I wrote: “the vet said it’s like the doggie version of advil.” Yeah, it was a proud, shining moment.

Well done, Jacquie. Actually, you're making it hard for the rest of us, with your highly entertaining account. I'm laughing in my coffee here. Plus, you gave me no parameters. High point, low point since when? You know I like structure in my life.

Last 24 hours? Okay.

Low Point:
After Bill and I both had two sober days this week (I know, I know. Sainthood is right around the corner), I broke that particular fast with a bang Thursday night. It was a fun night, but I may have gone slightly too far, and I woke up feeling like a bucket on Friday. So that was a low point. But I persevered, and plowed through my shift thanks to copious amounts of caffeine and the sheer force of my fierce will. So that was sort of a high point within a low point.

High Point:
And Friday night was even more loads of fun. All the peeps were out and about. There was a great Eugene O’Neill talk, there was great free music, there was a great Mets extra-innings victory, there were friends everywhere. And, highest high point of them all: we gave 3 separate friends – Hsin, Dave and Angela – their maiden Westy voyages.

Oh, wait. One more high point:

First rose of the season today.


High point: Hmm, it has not been the best week ever, but my unplanned time in the hospital did afford me some high points: it’s always a treat to have flowers delivered, all the nurses on the floor did show up at my door singing a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” then presented me with the most petite cake you've ever seen (which I was able to share with my kids), and my room affords me a great vantage point for watching the medic helicopters land.

Low point: There were lots of low points this week, but I'd have to say that once I was confident the immediate danger for baby had passed, it had to be canceling the wedding party that was scheduled for tonight. Family and friends were flying in, preparations had been made, and lots of folks were planning on coming. The very worst part was knowing how much my husband was looking forward to it, and knowing that I'm the cause of the cancelation, thus his disappointment. I'm sorry, T.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beth, interrupted

I've known it's my turn to post this Friday since my arrival here at the hospital just after midnight on 5/27.

But somehow here I am scrambling to get the post put together. How can this be?!

I've had hours and hours of hospital time, complete downtime, in which to get this done. But unbelievably I've been busy; between changing rooms 3 times, filling out the next day's menu choices, staying connected via my fabulous new iPhone (which I was insistent on getting after my LAST surprise hospital stay), and becoming completely addicted to HGTV (thanks, Ron), I've also met with my realtor to sign disclosure documents for the pending sale of my condo, hosted all four of my coworkers in this tiny (3rd) room, finished a book and started another, had an impromptu birthday party with my kids, husband, and mom, AND managed to rearrange the plans (some involving cross country travel) of 60 plus people planning on attending a wedding celebration this Saturday night (but let me just say that I DID think the party could proceed without the bride). This was all in addition to the requisite hospital stuff, like getting steroid shots in the ass at 2 AM, having a level II ultrasound, continuous fetal heartbeat and uterine contraction monitoring, and the repeated blood pressure and temperature checks.

Granted, I've got another 36 plus hours to go, but maybe tomorrow's edition of "Curb Appeal" will be as riveting as today's and the choice of lunch entrées even more agonizing.

Thanks so much to all my visitors, and everyone who has called and emailed. You are lifting me up and making the time fly by.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all on the outside!

(note from the ghostwriter: an iphone is swell and stuff, but it apparently can not publish to blogger, so Beth had to e-mail her post to me for processing. I resisted the urge to editorialize throughout, but I will tell you what she has not, and what you are certainly wondering: Beth and baby are okay, and plan to stay that way for many more months. Or at the very least, for six more weeks, during which time Beth will be lounging horizontally, hopefully at home. We love you, Beth! And I'm sure we love you too, baby, but we don't know you yet and so far you are being a little bit of a pain in the ass)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Champagne Homerun Derby

On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend one year ago, we arrived at our new Connecticut home. To celebrate, on the Friday of this year's Memorial Day weekend, we played a rousing game of Champagne Homerun Derby.

We played, naturally, at Champagne Park.

You've heard of the ivy-covered brick at Wrigley Field.

This is the bittersweet-covered fence at Champagne Park.

You're familiar with the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

This is the Green Monstrosity at Champagne.

I was up first. Pop!

Dang. Inches from being a home run. But an excellent shot, really. On the far edge of the warning track.

Bill was up next. Bill was feeling very smug because of his 3-homerun performance during the infamous Bishop of Champagne's visit, including one towering blast that hit halfway up the Green Monstrosity.

He got the wire off . . .

. . . he loosened the cork . . .

. . . and Pop!

Oh dear. That is not an excellent shot. That's not even close, really.

I declared I was winning since my cork went so much farther. Bill said, “Ellie, this is a Homerun Derby. It doesn't matter how far your cork goes. Only homeruns count.” (Yeah, but at least mine was a triple, buddy.)

Sigh. Score: 0-0.

Wait, what's this?? One of the corks that Bill thought had cleared the fence during his epic 3-for-3 feat the other day had actually landed on the fence. Make that 2-for-3, Mistah.

We had a snack to boost our energy -- physical and mental.

Round 2. The problem with playing Champagne Homerun Derby when only 2 people are drinking Champagne is you really don't get that many tries. I mean, how many bottles of champers can 2 people drink, when there's a whole night still ahead?

So I decided to let Bill go for it with our last bottle, to try to redeem his dreary 0-1 day so far, and to prove that 3-for-3 2-for-3 was not an anomaly. Our friend Ron was with us for this one, so Bill had something extra to prove.
He got set . . .

Wait a minute! He's calling it! The audacity! Mistah's calling the Homerun!

He got in his stance . . .

. . . and Pop!

Better luck next time, Schleckah.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Last month when two of my sisters were recovering from major surgeries, Beth said to me: “I hope this isn’t one of those times when bad things happen in threes.” She said this to me from her hospital bed, so I laughed and told her that I thought SHE was my number three. But I think that because she did not require major invasive surgery, it didn’t count.

So now I’m wondering, does it have to be a family member of the human variety to count as my number three? Does it have to be covered by insurance? We've got another contender.

This one will be major

This one will be expensive

This particular surgical experience was such a treat that Aunt Charlotte did it twice!

We’re hoping once will be enough.

We recently learned that a member of our family is going to need a Total Hip Replacement.

(fyi, this is not the: "woe is me, my hip is trying to shove itself up my asshole" face. This is the: "woe is me, they are going to make me sleep on my outside bed all day when I'd prefer to sleep on my inside bed all day" face)

I don’t even know what to say about it. It’s easy to think that we should not have brought home a puppy without knowing what horrors might be lurking in her genes; easy to say that this is ridiculous, it’s too much money, too tough a recovery, too much a toll on all of us…especially her.

So if that is what you feel you must say, please just don’t. I know.

If she belonged to someone else, she would probably just live in pain, most likely hobbled by the ripe old age of two. Or she would be put down because of the cost. But she’s ours, and we’re going to fix her. Turns out we want her more than we want that trip to Hawaii. We've been saving our tax return for that, and I almost booked the trip last week – wonder what stopped me. My cosmic waitress? I have just about had it with that bitch.

We are lucky that we got a tax return. We are lucky that we live in a brokedown palace, and we're not house poor. We are lucky that the worst of this will coincide with the portion of summer when Bill is on break but the kids are still in school. In the long run, it simply is what it is. What point is there in lamenting the facts when they are staring us in the face?

Sorry for the crappy image, I don't actually have a wall-mounted light box.

Does anyone want to guess what in hell that is about to finish its journey through her digestive tract? The vet said at first she thought it was a bullet, but we think it’s more likely the wiggly eyes that have gone missing from my girl’s beanie baby.

Oh, the things those eyes have seen.

ps: Happy Birthday, Beth!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ten word Tuesday: Fortune cookie

A fortuneless fortune cookie? Is it good will or ill?
When I showed my empty cookie to my coworker, she suggested I carefully look both ways before crossing the street. My husband assured me it was good luck. But so far, in my experience, what it signifies is that you'll lock yourself out of work, repeatedly. I locked myself out of my office when I stepped out to use the restroom on Friday, the day I received the fortuneless fortune cookie, and then AGAIN, this morning, because my work key was on my other set of car keys. Both times no one else was in the office or expected in anytime soon, so it involved having to drive far and wide before re-entry.

Next time I grab a fortune cookie I'm really hoping there's a fortune inside, even if it says: THAT WASN’T CHICKEN.

Or this one, which makes me giggle every time: MAN WITH HAND IN POCKET, FEEL COCKY.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Last week someone said to me we haven't had a proper spring in Connecticut in three years.

Because it's been, you know, raining. And gray. And the sun pops out for a day or two. Then it rains again, and is gray. And cold. Then the sun pops out again and everything turns green and yellow and purple.

Sounds exactly like spring to me.

That's the thing about spring. It's changeable and unsettled and it rains all the time an awful lot. I have always maintained that it does not turn nice in Connecticut until June. And this year is no exception. Which is why I usually stay away until then.

But summer is in there, under that rainjacket of spring, waiting to unzip the haze, bare its skin, and say, "Ahhhhhhhhhh........"

Kind of like Ledge Light:

We were at the beach a couple of weeks ago -- a veritable gift of a summer weekend in the middle of April -- although the beach was way colder and way foggier than our deck had been. At first, we couldn't even see Ledge Light out there, at the mouth of the Thames River.

But then, slowly, ol' Ledgie started emerging from the fog.

Just like the way summer emerges from the haze of spring.

All of a sudden, it's sunny more days than it's rainy.

And everything gets sharper . . .

. . . and clearer. And warmer.

And then, just like that, it's summer.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend 3-Way: Holiday Edition

Here we are on this Memorial Holiday Weekend, a weekend of picnics and parades and barbeques, and, if you have ever lived in the northeast, cold rainy weather.

We here at Me and You and Ellie have celebrated many holidays in the last year, including New Years Day and Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day and Election Day and Christmas and wedding anniversaries and a wedding and the Super Bowl and lots of birthdays. Because we know how to have fun.

And now that another holiday is upon us, the question is begged.

What is your favorite holiday? And why?

Back in my working days, I always used to answer this question: the Fourth of July. No presents, no big organizing, just food and drink and friends and a day off and summer.

But when we hit the road, everything changed. Every day became a holiday, and we found even celebrating our birthdays became superfluous. Well, we continued to celebrate our birthdays, of course, but we cut out the presents. Unnecessary. What better present is there than being on the road, celebrating Bill's #41 by hiking in the Davis Mountains of West Texas? Or celebrating my #38 by grilling steaks in North Dakota?

And national holidays are tricky on the road, because all the amateurs are out, taking up all the space in the campgrounds, leaving poor travelers like us high and dry.

So. Taking all that into account, I have a couple of favorites, depending on where I am. One of my favorites is baseball's Opening Day, but only if I'm in San Diego. That is a good place to hear those magical words, "Play Ball!" Here in Connecticut, Opening Day was exciting, of course, because of all it promises, but that was 7 weeks ago, and it's only now just starting to get nice around here.

So. Memorial Day it is. The official beginning of summer. The beginning of nice weather, even in the godforsaken northeast. Food, booze and picnics. And, thankfully, we're miles from any parade route.

Although I was born on Memorial day, and I do like it for the very same reason as Ellie does, namely that it's the three-day weekend that kicks off the summer season (and because I vaguely remember placing flags on Vets graves with my Dad, which he did with reverence), it is not my favorite.

I also love Labor day, on which both my brother and oldest daughter were born (on different days and in different years, of course), with its typically hot weather and almost-warm ocean temperatures, that extra day to be used solely for soaking up those last lazy, hazy summer rays before the (by then quite needed) routines of fall, namely school, begin. But it is also not my favorite.

My favorite is an autumn holiday, the one that falls on the third Thursday of November (very close to Jacquie's birthday). I love that we have an entire holiday dedicated to gratitude, and what's more, that it's gratitude by way of food. Yes, there is cooking involved, which I'm normally not a fan of, but because Thanksgiving dinner is the main event of the day, there being no costumes to don, or stockings to open, or fireworks to watch, or colored eggs to find, it doesn't seem like a chore, it seems instead like some ritualized form of gratefulness. And if you're Thanksgivings are like mine, they can take many forms, from big family gatherings, to even bigger gatherings of friends and family, to an intimate meal for two -- from traditional to, well, not. When I think back, I've spent Thanksgiving dinner in all matter of place (once in Turkey!) with all combination of people, and always, each year, there is plenty to be grateful for.

Plus there's pie. Almost always.


Ellie, opening day is not a holiday. I am not sure how to answer this one, because the success of holidays in particular depends so much on their circumstances each year. I'm going to go with Christmas though, because Christmas always means a two week vacation, and I am very fond of vacation. And of course, the joy of giving, the birth of the sweet baby Jesus, the tree, the lights, the merriment, yada yada.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Hodgepodge

In no particular order and for no particular reason, I offer the following:

1. Puppyhood is fleeting. Doggies are all grown up by the time their first birthday rolls around. Since the day we welcomed our little Moki beast to the family, the kids have been counting her age in months, just like a wee baby. They impatiently counted the time until her first birthday, and spent many hours speculating about the plans that should be made for the big event. The most popular options were that we’d either make her a cheese sculpture (?) or give her a waffle, which is apparently the way we honored our poor departed Porgie on her last birthday of this earth. It was quite a shock to realize that this most significant of days had come… and very nearly gone before we even remembered. We were having a great time visiting with our neighbors, and had just told the kids that it was time to go because the poor dog had been outside all night. As we packed up, someone mentioned the date, and we gasped in horror.

Poor Moki. Look how she scorns us.

So she’s a full-fledged dog now, all growed up.
She can sit at the table like a big girl and... um, eat plants.

She likes to be up on stuff. Upon stuff.

She’s very neglected and generally unloved.

2. My children bicker and argue and lament and annoy each other to the point of my desperation. When this occurs in the car, while we are all strapped in and trapped in the enclosed space, my new recourse is to play Abba at full volume. This is torture for some people. Not for me. I am the dancing queen.

3. Speaking of the magical, peacebringing powers of Abba, behold one of the best scenes in all of moviedom:

I hope you know Muriel and all the angst and woe that has brought her to that moment, and that you love it when she starts to let go and get her groove on. Genius.

4. Speaking of movies, I hope you have seen:

Empire Records
Johnny Dangerously
Run, Lola, Run
And of course, Muriel’s wedding

5. New belts were acquired this week, and are being treated with the respect and dignity that they merit

6. As if I needed another addiction at Trader Joe's

7. Now go forth and Memorialize something. Or memorize something. Or something.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One potato, two potato, three potato, four

So now I wait.

Will I pass or fail today’s semi-brutal, 3-hour glucose tolerance test?

For anyone who sees me on a regular basis, you better hope it’s pass, because I just don’t know if I can take any more restrictions.

I know I signed up for this pregnancy, I’m not blaming anything on anyone but myself, but geez. You go into the process knowing full well you’re going to have to give up booze. You accept this fact, albeit begrudgingly, and wistfully envision that day, exactly 103 days in the future, when that meddlesome restriction is lifted. (And don’t be so shocked, of course I’ll have a beer in the hospital.)

You also know that hot tubs are off limits and that eating sushi is a risk you probably shouldn’t take.

But since my stint in the hospital I’ve got two new restrictions, two biggies: no exercise and no sex.

So here I am, pregnant, which is one long-ass, crazy, emotional roller coaster ride to begin with, and not able to engage in three of the most effective stress reducers that this life on earth provides: alcohol, sex, and exercise. At the same time, I’m still expected to complete all my routine, but sometimes stressful, day-to-day tasks, for example work fulltime and mind my children.

Okay, so that's the current gig, to which I'm trying to adapt, but if I fail today's test, guess what? I'll also have to give up my carbohydrates. Those fiddleheads look good and all, but c'mon, what is pregnancy without being able to eat pizza, and buttered toast, or a bowl of granola, or a fat plate of pasta? It's getting fat without compensatory culinary enjoyment, that's what it is.

And although I freely admit that I'm already cranky right now, I'm going to be downright bitchy if they take away my rice and potatoes, my apples and fruit juice.

In my Bitchy post I pose the question: "Can I be the bitchiest? Well, I don’t know. If I put my mind to it, I guess I could."

Belive me, if I fail this test, I won't even have to try.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


This is a fiddlehead fern.

He's a funny little guy, isn't he?
Fiddlehead ferns, also called ostrich ferns, are new-growth fronds that have not opened up yet.

They, apparently, must be picked during a two-week window before the fern unfurls. Fiddleheads are so named because they resemble the scroll at the top of an, ahem, fiddle. In these United States of America, Maine and Vermont are the main sources of this seasonal wild food. Fiddleheads are rumored to taste like asparagus combined with artichoke. Or, some say, okra.
My tavern-friend Bobby has a place in Maine, and he is apparently a fiddlehead forager extraordinaire (fiddleheads are foraged, not cultivated), because he brought back several vacuum-packed bags of fiddleheads, which he gave to Maureen, um, Peter, um, me.
This guy says fiddlehead are $19.99 a pound in San Diego. This, therefore, is a bag of the purest Maine fiddlehead gold, dude! Mistah and I? We cooked our bag right up, and made ourselves a delightful meal. And here's how we did it.

First, we lit the Vulcan.

The Vulcan is, well, how does one describe the Vulcan? Not a child, not a pet, not an appliance . . . somewhere in the middle. And I'm pretty sure the Vulcan is a male.

Then I cut open that vacuum-sealed bag . . .

. . . and pure loveliness spilled out.

I read lots of fiddlehead websites yesterday, and they all agreed that those little ferns need a good rinse first . . . .

. . . before they got blanched. Blanched! Ack! Actually, It's not as bad as it sounds. Just a minute or two in boiling water. Nothing they couldn't handle. I didn't blanch for a minute while the poor ol' fiddleheads did.

Okay, so, now I think I'm on a cooking show, because really. Who has this in her kitchen? Are they not just gorgeous?

I mean, really.

Okay, enough blanching. [Blanch.] Next I gave them an ice-and-water bath. Why not? They deserved it. And then right into the garlic and olive oil . . .

. . . add a splash of the best chahr-bonnay. Only the very best will do . . .

. . . and let them stew in their own fiddlehead-esque juices for a while, while the pasta cooks. Bow-ties. Natch.

Okay. Then. Pasta in.

Stir. (I am on a cooking show!!! )

A little freshy peppah . . . .

. . . and a salad. And since we're the just-out-house (as Mumsie would say), this is a salad with no tomato, with no onion, with no carrot. A just-out salad.

Anyay. Voilà!

Fiddlehead delight.

And all from these modest little guys.

Bon Apétit!