Monday, May 31, 2010

some things

Some things never change.

This weekend marked the official kick-off of summer. Summer means different things to different people, but I think even the word alone evokes pleasant things for most of us.

May and June can tend toward the gloomy here in San Diego, especially at the shore. But this weekend was simply glorious, and some things never change:

Margaritas still hide inside of sippy cups,

And kids still dwell inside of holes in the sand.

Some things, however, are very changed this year.

Take that boy in the hole, for instance.

How did he get there, you ask?


How cool is this ride? We simply walked up to the lifeguard station and asked: "do you have any of those sand chairs?" We stored our boy's hum drum street wheels in their garage while this bad boy was hoisted down for his pleasure. It moved on the sand like a warm knife through buttah. The turns were cumbersome, but we don't need no stinkin' turns.

Some things never change.

Even when everything changes.

Happy Summer!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend 3-way: surplus

On Friday evening, I threw together a veggie tray to bring to a gathering. It was somewhat slim pickings, but I filled the little sections of my trusty travel compartment tray with broccoli, carrots, cucumber, and celery. All were fresh and crispy. I had no dip, so I opened up 3 or 4 of those little snack sized hummus containers we get at Costco (favorite thing), mixed in a dollup of Trader Joe's pesto, and toasted some pine nuts to sprinkle on top. The big bucket in the fridge was gone, so I went to the cupboard to grab some olives, I always have a spare jar of kalamatos in there. But lo, there were none! There were, however, no less than three unopened jars of chinese chili garlic oil. Which is delish, but not to meet this particular need.

But it did bring me to this weekend's 3-way:

"What do you always buy too much of? And/or on a related note, what do you always make too much of? (think lefties that end up down the drain) OR: What do you always run out of?"


As stated above, I tend to buy too much chili garlic oil. It just always looks so good and for some reason, I convince myself that I've gone through the last jar I bought. I am also known to overbuy the kind of instant oatmeal that my girl enjoys, peanut butter (how many jars did you find that one time, Ellie?), and all manner of delicious sounding dips and spreads.

I make too much of many things. Growing up in a family of eight, I often envision serving sizes by those measures. As I believe we've discussed here at MYE, we Coreys are loathe to throw anything yummy away, but even though Bill takes lefties to work for lunch, every time I clean out the fridge I find several tiny buckets of stupid veggies.

And the saddest story of all, the things I don't buy enough of, and am thus chronically plum out. That list of shame would have to include: pickles, beer, citrus fruit, garlic, and any baking ingredient ever invented. In my defense, I don't bake. But there's no excuse for the garlic.

Jacquie, garlic?! You're half Lebanese! That's a sin and a crime against your People to run out of garlic.

And I too love chili garlic oil. Love it. Love the tall bottle of it with the rooster on it as well.

Anyway. I can't keep turkey in the house: we buy it for the week, and it lasts 2 days. I can't keep pretzels in the house: I buy a bag and I eat a bag. We never run out of beer or wine because there's a package store a couple of blocks away and we're really good customers.

I overbuy beans. Garbanzos, kidneys, black, small white, cannelloni: I've got enough cans to last until the Armageddon. I'm about to lighten my load, though: I'm in the midst of making a killer pasta/bean salad to bring to anybody's house who invites me over this weekend. It's going to be bean-heavy.


We always have way too much cereal and far too little beer. But like Ellie, we've got a package store close by and are regular customers to say the least. You know, the sort of customers whose kids call the cashiers uncle.

We are constantly running out of baby food too. I know, I know, a good mother would be making mashed, strained, organic vegetables fresh daily, but I've never claimed to be a good mother. Organic in the jar is all I typically manage, and man, do those jars go fast! But in all fairness, Blanca plows baby girl full of food, so neither T nor I see the daily damage.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Listen up

I turned 42 yesterday. Not sure how it happens, where the time goes. But it does.

The good news is I wasn’t in the hospital, or pregnant (or pregnant and in the hospital), this year. Instead I was busy, out in the world -- the morning spent volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, the afternoon spent at work, and the evening at yoga and at home.

The bad news is I don’t think I’m getting any wiser as the years tick by.

The only thing I’m sure about, in fact, is that the older I get the more I understand that I don’t really know much about anything; that often my take on something is limited or flawed or downright wrong. It’s humbling, I tell you.

I was sure of lots of things when I was younger. So brazen, really. But not so much anymore. I’ve come to realize that so much of what we think we know is biased by our own past experiences, our gender, our race, our socioeconomic status. How can it not be, right?

I don’t think it can be. But I do think that owning up to the fact that our views are not necessarily “right” is something we can strive for.

I read some article recently that claimed that every altercation in the world, from the biggies like world wars, civil uprisings, and political coups, on down to barroom brawls and everyday marital strife, come down to peoples’ insistence on being “right.” I mean, if I’m “right,” and you don’t hold the same view, then you’re “wrong,” right?

It’s so easy to dig in, insisting on our position; to elevate “right” to such a level that the truth, or a compromise, cannot be reached.

So, this year, I’m going to work on remembering that I know little about anything. If I’m successful, I just might be able to not only hear what you’re saying, but also what you’re meaning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"We Got The Whole World . . . "

We saw our friends Bob and Peggy the other day, and Bob told us he had just come across snapshots from the the day we bought the Westy -- the day we all bought the Westy: he came to Long Island on the ferry with us.

He's a V-Dub aficionado and we would not have bought it without him.

Bob and Peggy took photos that day in August 2000 and we took photos of their photos -- which were, sadly, not very good -- last weekend. But when I looked at them -- at our photos of their photos -- I decided not to crop out the hands holding the photos. Because, really, they're kind of cool and very omnipresent and godlike.

(They're my godlike and omnipresent hands, by the way)

Okay, this is the worst one, but also the best one, because it was 2000 and ten years ago and neither the Westy nor Mistah nor I nor our hair nor our skin nor westy's stove was quite as rusty as it is now.

Bill was, clearly, 12, and Bob was all about peace and love, man. Or maybe that's just the "V", at the beginning of "Vee-Dub."

Here's me upstairs in the bed and Bobby and Billy downstairs. The photographer clearly gave a rat's ass about them.

Here's this one again; is it any better? No, not really.

Anyway, I just love these photos, especially this shot . . .

. . . see us out that back window, 10 years ago? . . .

. . . reminds me of a recent shot taken of us . . .

it reminds me . . .

We got the whole world . . . in our hands . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

my girl, interrupted

So most everyone (who’s anyone) knows that I’ve been writing that other blog during our current family shit storm to keep the peeps up to date with whichever way the poo is flying on any given day. It’s a good outlet for my feeble mind, and allows me to keep everyone from my coworkers to my cousins to my TKB instructor in the loop, which is also good for me because then I don’t have to answer those loaded “how’s it going” questions with such detail. So basically, what I’m saying is that it’s all about me. Duh.

I’m keeping it pretty clean over there, so you can expect a whole lot more foul language from me back over here where I belong, because I’m busting from holding it in and how the fuck do you write about your kid in a fucking wheelchair without saying fuck? See?

(And if you’ve covertly found this blog through the commenter profiles on that blog and you know me in real life, especially through work, please just let me pretend you’re not here because I don’t censor myself here and although I never talk about work, I do sometimes frequently sprinkle the f word around)

But nevermind all of that, let's talk about my girl!

Look at her. She’s so dreamy.

My girl seems to have grown up (and turned Balinese?) while I was otherwise occupied. I can’t get over that face of hers! With or without the luscious redness of her lips, that face is suddenly so changed! We are planning for her ninth birthday party next month. The last year of her single digits.

The shit storm has been hard on all of us, but Bill and I have learned without a doubt that kids somehow roll with the punches a whole lot easier than we old folks do. We tend to get all hung up on the later, while they stay squarely focused on now. The biggest impact this unexpected left turn has caused for my girl is that her number one playmate and partner in crime is suddenly benched. She's a pretty good sport about it most of the time, but every once in a while she has no choice but to abandon him in the backyard after being ordered to fetch the wayward ball one too many times.

In the last few days, the kids have been using the tumbling mat for smack down grappling. It's horrible to witness, all knees and hair and stinky feet with giggles morphing into screams.

It got a little intense for my comfort, so before they asked again for the green light to kick the shit out of each other, they donned their safety gear.

And my girl might be compassionate, but she shows no mercy:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baby brewery tour

We went to Durango this past weekend to visit my brother, and sister-in-law, and baby nephew. Whom at 16 months, I've never met, which obviously makes me a very bad person.

But there is always a time and place for redemption.

And this was the time. And place.

And honestly, the kids did get in their floor time. Playing with toys and books and each other, including curious pokes from one to the other, and silly sounds, and crazy faces.

But more importantly, of course, was their interaction during the baby brewery tour.

Because honestly, who can go to a town like Durango and not check out, first hand, via those endearing little taster glasses, the local, awesome breweries?

Well I can't. We can't.

The babies were totally up for it. Who were we to let them down?

We hit Ska,

and Steamworks,

and Carvers.

We hit the Durango Brewery too, but before their very, very limited 3 - 8 pm tap room hours. (I mean, c'mon, 3 pm?!)

And we were so in the tasting groove that it was no sweat to get the folks at The Cosmopolitan to give us an on-the-fly taster set when we sat down to their very non-brewery dinner fare that evening. (Sans babies.)

Ah. Fresh-brewed beer. What could be better?

Not even cheerios.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Strength

Sometimes it's hard to find the strength to leave.

Take this past weekend, for example. Mistah and I went down to Mark Dowd's house, met by the lovely MB of course, and Mom and Dad came over on Saturday night to celebrate Dad's bday. We had ourselves a Big Time.

Then on Sunday, Mistah and I packed up and left MD's and went to downtown Milford with MB and MD for one beer -- one -- on a sunny deck before making our way back to New London . . .

. . . and well, all hell broke loose.

. . . which sometimes happens, when we get together with these reprobates.

We couldn't seem to find the strength to leave.

We did, though, finally find the strength to leave the bar, and headed to the beach . . .

. . . and I don't know, you tell me. Need I use words? In this case I needn't; they're superfluous.

The strength to leave? Hell, we found the strength to stay.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend 3-Way: Drinkie-Poos

Drinks. We've not talked about drinks for a while, have we?

Yum. Drinks.

Mistah Schleckah and I drank these two particular drinks on our deck a couple of weeks ago, before the huge, emotional, landmark haircut. Delicious? Oh, they were delicious. And courage-providing.

I got thinking about drinks while looking at photos the other day, of the haircut, and of drinking margaritas with our incredibly awesome, incredibly-awesome-looking, new-mom friend Hsinny recently -- also on our deck. Our deck is, clearly, a really great place to have a drink.

So, my gorgeous, brilliant, delightful, and drink-loving co-bloggers: tell us. Give us a drinkie-poo story. What are you drinking right now? What do you wish you were drinking right now? What do you regret drinking? Right now or any other time?

Drinkie-poos. Detes, please. And photos? Oh, how we love photos.

I may have told this story before, I'm not sure. But I love it, every time.

Schleckah and I were condo-sitting in San Diego, north of Jacquie and Bill's house, where we had been staying, well, for months, as we were wont to do.

Jacquie and her kids, naturally, came up to play. Mrs. Schwabbie (both of Jacquie's kids' kindergarten teacher)'s condo had a pool, afterall.

I got in the pool with the kids, and flipped them up into the air. Actually, I flipped the boy up into the air. He and I had a great routine, where he'd stand on my shoulders, I'd grab his feet, I'd sink underwater, I'd tap his feet three times: "One, two, three . . . " and I'd push against the bottom and burst up into the air and throw him up and he'd do a giant flip or at least a jumping twirlsey, from my shoulders, into the air. All the while the girl was hanging onto my neck, strangling me, screeching into my ear like a screech owl.


My favorite part of that day, though, was Jacquie brought drinkie-poos (along with lunch). Now, for the likes of us, margaritas are margies, a beer's a beer, and a glass of wine's, well, a glass of wine. But a drinkie-poo? Well that's something else entirely. It involves vodka and Sobe and lime and seltzer and Jacquie's man Bill is often, but not always, involved. A drinkie-poo is, most of all, entirely refreshing.

So. We were drinking drinkie-poos at the pool. Of course we were. And Jacquie's girl, who had just turned 6, saw a so-called grown-up with a big red plastic cup in his hand, and although she had no earthly idea what her Uncle Schleckah was drinking, a so-called adult with a cup meant one thing to her, and one thing only. And so she screamed, in her screech owl voice, for all the world -- and all the condo complex -- to hear,

"Uncle Bill! Put down your booze and get in the pool!"

Right now? Well, right now I’m drinking water out of my SIGG water bottle; can you say healthy environmentalist?

Me neither, at least not without choking, because what I WISH I were drinking is an icy cold margarita. I don’t say this all that often, as I really have a lasting, true affinity for beer. But I was out late last night, seeing the John Butler Trio, and, well, drinking beer, so right now something more refreshing is called for. (Where is Ellie with her Jacquie’s blender when you need her?)

Regret drinking? Oh lots of things, Ellie, lots of things. I think maybe even these lovely drinkie-poos,

which were made at home shortly before heading off to the pool, where official drinkie-poos cost $10 and up. Pffft. As if.

Now, don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not that the above pictured drinkie-poos weren’t fruity and delicious and perfectly rum-spiced, because they were, it’s just that they go down way too fast, and always taste like more, and I have a hard time staying sober while downing sipping these girly drinks. Yes, past experience reveals that spiced rum leads to terrible haircuts, and lacerations, and who knows what all else.


My bonehead streak continues. Despite the fact that I've known about this weekend's photo assignment for days, I never quite got a good shot of a drinkie! Shall we pretend that I was on the wagon all week? You so funny.

Here's the moment of recall:

It was yummy.

But so does not meet the challenge of this weekend's 3-way! Thankfully, I've done my share of booze talk here on Me and You and Ellie, so all hope is not lost. Take a gander at these two luscious displays:

First, the ubiquitous cocktail of the summer of 2009, The Strawberry Lemonata. Click the photo for the recipe. You're welcome.

And then, a favorite photo of a favorite drink from a favorite spot. Mimosas at San Elijo.

Is that photo and its corresponding memories enough to inspire Autumn to find a way to finagle us back up there this summer? One can only hope.

God, I'm thirsty.

Friday, May 21, 2010

friday hodgepodge: bonehead edition

So, I've been a tad distracted lately. The whole last month has been one great big attentional blink.

I've always prided myself on working best under pressure. My most successful semesters in college were the ones when I took a full load and worked part time. My most productive times at work are the times when I've got at least twelve different projects underway. So it would seem that when the world as I knew it turned all wobbly, I would naturally assume the position of madame get-er-done, tackling tasks both administrative and medically urgent with the speed and acumen of a cheetah or a cougar or a minx or whichever feline creature is known for doing things well, and fast.
But instead of that, I've become a bumbling idiot! I am not a minx. I am Garfield.
Exhibit A: It pains me to tell you this. On Wednesday, I took my son to a much anticipated yet ultimately quite sucky Physical Therapy evaluation . We were running late, as per usual. I now have a disabled placard for parking, so when we arrived at the parking structure, I drove around to those generally elusive spaces right next to the automatic door to seek a space. They were full. Note to the universe: it's hard to find handicapped parking at a hospital or medical center. So I drove around to the next level, sure that I'd find a spot near those automatic doors. Nope. But it was a small garage with a tight loop up to the next level, so I kept going up. It's one of those places with entrances on several levels, and I was impressed that despite our perpetual circling, we continued to pass by driveways that led to street level. Man, there were a lot of levels in that place! My boy finally asked why we were driving around in circles, and I explained that although it seemed as if we were circling like idiot lunatics, we were actually going to a different level with each revolution. Then he asked: "so why do we keep passing the same cars?"
Exhibit B: On Thursday morning, I was tired and emotional and hadn't slept well. The one and only motivation that I could muster in order to drag my sorry arse out of bed was that sweetest nectar of the gods, coffee. My husband had gone off early for a meeting that day, so I brewed a pot for one, and shimmied to the soothing sounds of its gargles and sputters. When the beep indicated a ready mix, I warmed my milk and happily turned to grab a cup.

It's really much tastier when you put coffee in it.

Please, people, tell me I'm not alone. What bonehead moves do you have to confess on this fair Friday?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Attentional blink

I read an article last week that talked about attentional blink, a term I wasn’t familiar with.

Basically, attentional blink results because the human mind has a limited ability to process information. “When two targets embedded in a rapid stream of events are presented in close temporal proximity, the second target is often not seen.”

Got that?

Things are happening too fast for the brain to detect the second stimulus. We experience a brief loss of attention.

It must happen all the time, right?

I mean who among us isn’t doing four things at the same time? Multi-tasking is today’s norm, not something we do on a particularly busy day.

We typically complete a work task while making a doctor appointment for our child, responding to an email, and taking our multivitamin. It’s the modern world’s standard.

At some point, though, something’s got to give. Doesn’t it?

The article went on to say that mediation can improve attentional blink.

Scientific studies have shown that mental training improves the efficiency with which attentional resources are distributed; meditation can actually alter the way in which the brain allocates attentional resources.

We can think more clearly and be present to more things at the same time. We have the power to be more focused.

Great news, right?


I know. It’s such a good idea. And I really want to do it. But really, who the hell has time/patience/aptitude?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jelly Roll

Two weeks ago today our friends Hsin-Yi and Chris had a bouncing baby boy. He had been given the nickname Jelly Roll -- in utero -- by his parents, and we all jumped for joy when young Jelly Roll made his appearance onto our fair planet.

Our friend Ted wrote on fase book facebook that day: And unto them a Jelly Roll is born!

Poor ol' Jelly Roll had to stay in the hospital for a week or so, but he's home now, and doing great, and eating a lot and sleeping a lot and the other day, at least, strolling the 'hood with his mom . . .

. . . when they both wound up on our deck.

Hsin brought a bottle of her very own Hsin-milk in case young Jelly Roll woke up . . .

. . . and although he did eat . . .

. . . this was about as close as he got to waking up. We almost saw his eyes. Well, one eye.

Hey, he's no dummy. Someone brings a bottle of pure deliciousness to his lips in that fuzzy area between sleep and wakefulness, and he starts sucking. What's the point of opening his eyes?

The kid is tired . . .

. . . and really terribly stinking cute.

As is his mom. Plus, she's a natural.

We just don't get enough babies on our deck, we realized.

But we're hoping all that's going to change. We're hoping ol' Jelly Roll makes our deck one of his regular stops on his strolling circuit.

We're hoping other babies out there hear what a warm, welcoming spot our deck is for an afternoon visit . . .

. . . where there are plenty of friends to coo at you . . .

. . . and plenty of arms to hold you . . .

. . . and where their Moms get to drink pure deliciousness, too.