Monday, June 29, 2015

Searching for Mookie

Rumor had it that my favorite Met was signing autographs at the Mets Plaza at Citi Field yesterday, so we raced right over to try to find him.

Mookie? Are you down there?

We searched high and low, but we couldn't find him.

We found Jackie Robinson's number . . .

. . . and we found some rain . . .

. . . and we found another Ellie . . . 

. . . it was an Ellie love-fest.

Every day is an Ellie love-fest.

I carried everybody's* Lucas Duda Growth Charts, which filled out my Mets back-a-pack nicely.

(*I still have people's; call me)

Hey! We found a sister!

Holy Moses do I love a sister.

And we found some bus-mates . . .

But mostly, we searched for Mookie. Kathleen and I even left a spot for him . . .

. . . which Mistah filled in nicely . . .

. . . and Johnny Slips kept us in good spirits . . . 

But yet . . . 

. . . and still . . . 

I search for Mookie.

Friday, June 26, 2015

girls and boy band

When I heard that a certainfive four member boy band was coming to our neighborhood this summer, I scooped up a four pack of tickets and presented them to my girl with an ingenious plan to make this her Birthday Masterpiece. She could invite two besties and we'd have a westy tailgate, scream our faces off at the cute and the music , then spend the night reveling and reliving the glory. Epic plan! 

My first mistake was making the purchase 6 months ago.

My second mistake was thinking that since the concert was just 2 weeks after her birthday, the day propah could be low-key.

As the date approached, concerns began to emerge about What To Do. I suggested we invite anyone and everyone to come hang out at the beach, a(nother) brilliant idea that spiraled its way into this

ahhh, bliss.

and also this

They are exactly as loud as they look.
It was a funny, funny night. Bill and I have developed an excellent camping system, and we were psyched for the first beach night of the season. But somehow this trip was just, um... different. Louder. More crowded. Dramatic. Also? quite lovely. Here, see for yourself:

It was interesting to observe school friends and life friends finding ways to comingle

It didn't take long
I had prepared marinara sauce and par-boiled some pasta at home, so after a few hours of beach time I headed up to camp to get dinner going

Ready for business. No beer for you, girls.

They came, they saw, they scarfed

Good girls, these. And pretty easy on the eyes.

I could never see anything in the bright sunlight, so just snapped photos all around until I came up with something useful.

Sunset was underwhelming, but the girls didn't care
They were too busy being awesome

This is South Carlsbad State Beach, just north of our beloved San Elijo

These are the 103 stairs that I did not sprint upon. With only one night booked, there's no time for misery

I was always counting their heads. I did not lose even one.

103 is a lot of stairs 

Still smiling! ish

We had the world's best campfire. There wasn't a lick of wind, the wood was sublime and the conversation sparkled

Superhero girl/woman helped set up everyone's beds in 2 tents

Bill and I didn't know quite where to put ourselves in this scenario, so we hovered on the fringe
The girls stayed up til midnight then lit candles and sang happy birthday to my girl, ate cupcakes, and went to bed. I only had to shoosh them twice and all was quiet.

I woke up early, but hung in my comfy westy bed listening to the crashing waves until around 8. I peeked into both tents and saw 8 sleeping beauties, and figured I had some time to putter and chill before getting back to mess duty. It was quiet and serene and breathtakingly beautiful. Then suddenly and without warning, one of the tents exploded into screams and 4 girls came crashing out in a fury of hair and limbs and angst. There was a bug.

So I made pancakes. Blueberry and plain and chocolate chip, because that's what it took to please 8 girls. Sigh.

After breakfast we had the girls pack up their crap and clear out/fold up the tents, then we sent them to the beach so Bill and I could decamp.

I happened to notice the time at 11:07, the very moment my baby girl was born 14 years ago. I was sad that she was 103 steps away and I couldn't share the moment with her. But then I remember that she really didn't do anything that hard on her birthday, it was her dad and I that did all the work. So we popped a bottle of bubbly and sat down and took a breath. It was a huge highlight.

We had to be out of the site by noon, so we drove over to the day use area and had ourselves a d.a.y.

pack mule

This is my favorite, because look at her! Then look at the ball.
epilogue: i have to go see one direction in two weeks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One more Saturday night

Do you remember my post, way back when? Back in January when I was hopeful that my complicated mail order ticket request would actually result in tickets for the 3-day, July 4th-weekend Grateful Dead shows in Chicago?

That I would received some bad ass tickets like these?

Well, I didn't.

Those are Mary Ann's, who I was almost certain would get tickets because her mail order envelope art work was so amazing.

Have fun, Ma!

BUT, the Jerry-less 2015 "Grateful Dead" pulled a sneaky move and managed to schedule two shows prior to their final ever Soldiers Field shows. Right here in California, where they should be!! Nothing against Chicago, but c'mon, the GD are a CA band. Yeah, yeah, they're an American band, but first and foremost, they're a California band, and it just feels so right to be seeing them in No Cal for the final time.

So, this week, this Saturday, early morning, Jacquie and I head up to take part in this:

Tickets arrived. It's on. It's real.

Actually this is not one of our tickets, so don't come visit us here.

The music, the people, the spectacle. It's all on tap this weekend. And I'm thinking uncle Merv will be serving up some tasty Dead 50 morsels next week.

Until then...

Hello baby, I'm gone, goodbye. Half a cup of rock and rye....

Monday, June 22, 2015


Before the Asheville epicness, before the love and before the adoration and before the wheelbarrows full of fun, the bride-to-be sent me an email:

ellie, can I please ask a very special favor of you?

I'd like to have a framed photo of dad at the wedding, on the table in the front foyer, with something printed remembering him. Can I put you in charge of that? It would mean a lot, and I would appreciate it so much.

love you,


I got the email when I was online on the couch and Mistah was online on the chair, and I started crying and Billy said what? and all I could do was give him a thumbs up and a nod and choke out, it's okay; it's good and forward him the email across the living room.

Yes, my darling girl. A million times yes.

Yesterday was Father's Day and I approached the day all Bah Humbug but then I started looking at all the photos of all the dads that all the people in all the lands posted, and my frown turned right upside down.

Because even though our million-dollar dad is no longer around, we hit the dad jackpot. While we had him, and now, still, when he's gone.

Our dad really liked being a dad; the man was born for the job:

The man and me.
MB and Ann were over-the-moon excited to have a new baby sister.
Who could blame them?

These are old shots, from the early early years, but I just love them:

Even though I'm not in them:

I think these are the photos I amassed for Ann's 50th birthday, but they are just so brilliant.

Dad-to-be; still counts.

I mean, look at that kid.

Flatley girl personified.

Dad's favorite.


I think MB? Could be Julie? We were a bald-headed lot.

Dad wasn't around to walk his gorgeous and beloved Doo down the aisle this time around, but his namesake did him proud:

 Incredibly proud.

Young Joseph did a beautiful job . . .

And Julie made my job easy. For the "something printed remembering him" I used her own words from her beautiful eulogy, five years ago . . .

. . . And the original Joseph was with us all day.

Every day.