Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Baby Group vs The Baby Group

My charge, King William (whose mother is off with wild sheep in the Outback) is less than two weeks away from turning 7 months old.  7 months old.  Have I really been watching this kid for that long?  And where is his damn mother?  Every day I wait for her to step out of cab and ring the doorbell and say, “Here I am!”  And yet 4 AM rolls around and I’m up with William in the dark, no mother, no cab, no nothing.  What gets me through it all is my baby group – talking to other women who have bags under their eyes, dirty hair, and an expression of shell-shocked confusion on their faces.  These are my people.

There are several different Baby Groups in Los Angeles that run the gamut from the freebies to the full-money-down-mortgage-your-house groups that you need an introduction to get into.  I have tried them all and find myself most happy in a group where I learn almost nothing, but leave feeling as if I’m doing a great job at being a mom.  The fancy group did teach me everything I still know so far, but I left each class in a tizzy.  Why wasn’t King William sleeping through the night?  Why wasn’t I staying home all day to make baby food?  And why, dear God why wasn’t I hiring instructors to come lecture me about preschool, letting him “cry it out,” and educational play?  I was a failure and a slacker and my kid (who is not even really my kid) was going to end up never running a Fortune 500 company.

After I was ostracized from the future leaders of our world group, I found that I could breath again.  So maybe William isn’t “supposed” to roll on top of the dog or lick the hardwood floors, but he seems to like it and I can’t say I really mind.  I feel good and you know what they say, happy pseudo-mommy = happy baby.  Bust seriously, where is his mother??

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The Case of the Old Sofa

In our house, we have a sofa.  In its heyday it was quite the piece of furniture.  Hand made, custom designed, top-of-the-line fabric, and stuffed with down feathers – she was a beauty.  Now however, years of big bottoms, dog paws, and take-away pizza have made their mark.  The old lady sags. (don’t we all?)  She puffs out feathers to the point that when I stand up, I look as if I’ve been sitting on a pigeon.  Her cushions have holes in them.  Her arms have tears.  She is looking less like a lady and more like a frat house beer bong.  This doesn’t sit well with any of us (except maybe Kiki who likes to sink into the soft spots).

So a few months ago I began the search for an upholsterer.  Why throw out the grand dame when with a new coat paint she could be as good as new?  And that’s when I realized that I live in a consumer-driven world.  If I were to get our lovely old sofa reupholstered in my neighborhood, the price would be more than a new sofa.  If I got the job done in east Los Angeles it would drop to a measly $1500 and if I went even further away from where we live, I could swing it for $1300.  This is not of course, including fabric.

And now I’m on the case – do I spend the time, energy, and dinero to get our loyal sofa a face lift?  Or do I start shopping?  Either way, I’m eating Raman noodles for a while.

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A Cup of Coffee

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

My first cup of coffee was during my first year of college, chased with a packet of hot chocolate.  The taste of cafeteria Joe was heavy and bitter and even with the hot chocolate, I still preferred to write my all-night papers with a bottle of Mountain Dew.  By the end of sophomore year, I had been introduced to Dunkin Donuts coffee, a staple in the northeast.  I soon became a loyal fan of the DD and was pleased to find myself a coffee drinker at last.  Goodbye Mountain Dew, hello coffee machine.  In my third year, I went to study in Italy where espresso is synonymous with water.  My Italian mama made me espresso on the stove each morning, followed with espresso for lunch on the Arno, followed by espresso after dinner while my papa made me practice what new words I had learned that day.  By the end of my sojourn, it was definitive.  I was in love with coffee.

Through the years I have been to loyal to one coffee after another; Coffee Bean, Starbucks, Kona, Illy.  Like dating, my tastes have changed and my preference for brands have switched accordingly.  My allegiance for the past year or so has been with a company called allegro for their signature ‘Breakfast Blend.’  It smells divine and the taste is a mouth-full just perfect for the morning.  And then two days ago I tried Blue Bottle Coffee.  Not knowing is was almost $20 a bag, I fell in love.  So smooth.  So harmonious.  So clean.  I was hooked.

There is a coffee from Indonesia called that sells for $160 a pound.  It’s made from coffee beans that have been eaten and pooped out again by a mongoose.  And in Panama, Hacienda La Esmeralda makes a coffee that is grown in the shade of old guava trees.  You can grab a pound of this delicacy for a mere $104 a pound.  And if that still feels too steep for you, there’s a brand called Island From St. Helena Coffee Company named after said island about 1200 miles off the coast of Africa.  For $79 you can purchase Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite coffee.  Obviously, my $20 coffee is now sounding pretty good, huh?

Mmmmm…tastes pretty good too.

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Date Night

Tuesday morning and I’m looking forward to my Friday date night.  Last weekend we were in San Francisco visiting friends and the weekend before that my dad was in town – so it’s been a few weeks now since Sam and I have hit the town and painted it purple.  And by hitting the town, I’m thinking dinner and a movie?  A walk along the beach?  Window shopping and a glass of wine?  Sadly, my idea of a great time usually ends with me asleep by eleven.

I logged onto the computer this morning and did some searching around for what’s in the theaters (or coming to them by Friday).  King’s Speech – saw it.  Barney’s Version – saw it.  No Strings Attached – saw it.  Ah-hah…The Company Men.  Now that looks good to me.  Not particularly uplifting, but good all the same.  And it seems as if there’s a new comedy coming out on Friday – Cedar Rapids, from the makers of The 40-Year Old Virgin.  Reviews for both are good.

Or I could surprise Sam with rock climbing, a night out salsa dancing, and a helicopter ride over the city.  We could go to a rave, hit a new restaurant, and end the night on a downtown rooftop.  Mmm, it’s a tough call, but I think I’m going to go with The Company Men.  It starts at 7:15pm and I could be in my pajamas by 10.

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Adele Enersen – Super Creative Mom

My mother-in-law recently sent me to a website that just blows my mind.  Toxel.com There’s a blog listed at the bottom, which I checked out (Mila’s Daydreams) from an woman in LA, but I don’t think it’s the same person.  Maybe they’re just super artsy, super creative mom friends?

The pictures that you see here were done by Adele Enersen, a new mother who has really put the rest of us to shame.  How in the heck did she do all of this on no sleep and milk duty?  I’d like to meet this woman and rub up against her a little bit…but not in a creepy way.  Just in a “give me some of what you’re taking” kind of way.  Anyway, see for yourself.  She’s amazing!  I’ve got to get my act together…

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Arrested Development

Where was I when this show was on the air?  Thanks to the goodness that is Netflix (hello instant streaming) I have been introduced to the

 

show, Arrested Development.  On air from 2003-2006, there are only 3 seasons for me to gulp down and I have, voraciously.  I’m on Season 3 right now and just thinking about there being no more Bluth family makes me want to paint myself blue.  A movie has been in the rumor mill for years now, but so far nothing has come to fruition.  As Gob likes to say, Come on!

The show’s premise is simple, the Bluth family is a walking disaster.  Dad Bluth is in prison/on the lam/under house arrest for treason.  He built homes for Saddam and cooked the books while he was at it.  Mom Bluth, a saucy viper (literally. she starts drinking at breakfast) pits one child against the other while she vacillates between her husband, his twin brother, and her youngest son, Buster.  And speaking of Buster (last one on the right), love him!  The youngest child in the Bluth family, Buster’s about one hand short of a full set.  I’m totally infatuated with him, his hook, and his Charlie Browns.  Give that boy some more juice!

Michael Bluth (Justin Bateman, dead center) is the only “normal” one in this highly dysfunctional family and has the herculean task of holding them all together while saving the family business.  Meanwhile, his son George Michael (Michael Cera) and his sister’s daughter Maebe (who may or may not be adopted) are getting a little too close for comfort for north of the Mason Dixon line.  They all live not-so-happily in a sinking model home in Orange County.

Gob (pronounced Jobe – far left) is the oldest Bluth child and a talentless magician who can’t seem to keep it in his pants.  The one and only sister (played by Portia, Ellen’s wife) is married to Tobias (that’s them on the left next to Justin Bateman) and in a loveless marriage.  Tobias, once a analrapist (his take on his psychotherapy) now an unemployed actor, lives with the family despite being in an open relationship with his wife, Lindsay.  Neither Tobias nor Lindsay are having any luck.  Tobias is most certainly gay.  And last but not least is Franklin, Gob’s angry, brown puppet friend.

The Bluth’s are amazing and I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I’m finished watching their histrionics.  I need more Bluth and I need it now.  Mitchell Hurwitz needs to write that script and Fox needs to greenlight it pronto.  Life is just too too dull without them.  But don’t take my word for it – watch it for yourself.

The chicken dance as performed by the Bluths:

Buster and Franklin:

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