Friday, January 19, 2018

The Things We Say and Like

These are the results of a silly FaceBook game that we played together before bed last week, but did not want to actually post on Facebook. I thought it might be fun to look back on one day in the future. I found it interesting how sarcastic we were to each other when answering questions as we generally aren't sarcastic in our interactions. I guess we were trying to come up with funny responses. Note: Noé did not participate because he was already in bed ...miracle... /sarcasm!

My commentary is in [  ]s:

What is something JEN says a lot?
Asher: Asher, can you come over here for a second?
Ed: Talk to your father

What is something that ED says a lot?
Jen: Touché
A: Is water wet? Is the pope Catholic?

What is something that ASHER says a lot?
J: Do I have to go to school tomorrow?
E: Reasons

What makes JEN happy?
E: I don't know  [such a funny guy]
A: Chocolate  [truth]

What makes ED happy?
J: When the Dodgers win
A: Your phone  [ouch!]

What makes ASHER happy?
E: Your phone
J: When it's time for "Amazing Race"

What makes JEN sad?
E: Life  [such a funny guy]
A: our president  [truth]

What makes ED sad?
J: When the Dodgers or Stanford lose anything
A: When the Dodgers lost the world series

What makes ASHER sad?
E: School (except for Spanish and PE and Jazz Band)
J:  When the weekend is over

What is JEN's favorite thing to do?
E: Go on a bike ride
A:  Bike    [for sure]

What is ASHER's favorite thing to do?
E: Text with friends
J:  Play the piano

What is ED's favorite thing to do?
A: Watching sports and listening to the record player
J:  Going on hikes

What is JEN's favorite food?
A: Egg salad [huh?]
E: Chocolate

What is ED's favorite food?
J: Seafood
E: Pizza

What is ASHER's favorite food?
E: Bacon and eggs [thank you, Parks and Rec]
J:  Seafood

What is JEN's favorite drink?
A: You drink tea a lot
E: Chai

What is ED's favorite drink?
J: ROOOOOOOOOT BEEEEEEEERRRR
A: oh my gosh yeah...root beer

What is ASHER's favorite drink?
E: Root beer
J:  Hot chocolate

If JEN could go anywhere, where would it be?
A: Portland
E: Chile   [hmm...I've already LIVED in both those places...]

If ED could go anywhere, where would it be?
J: London
A: Dodgers stadium [he would like to live there, actually]

If ASHER could go anywhere, where would it be?
E: Abuelos house [?]
J: Around the world with "The Amazing Race"

Do you think you could live without JEN?
A: A big fat no
E: no  [said very casually]

Do you think you could live without ED?
J: My heart would not go on 
A: NO

Do you think you could live without ASHER?
E: Absolutely not
J: Not a chance, you're our sun/son

How does JEN bother you?
A: When you don't finish your sentence [I do that...]
E: I plead the fifth 

How does ED bother you?
J: When you walk too fast, when you snore all night
A: When you say the dab is not dead

How does ASHER bother you?
E: When you don't listen to me
J: When we have to nag you to get your work done

What is JEN's favorite TV show?
A: Parks and Rec [a good one...but nope!]
E: Mad Men

What is ED's favorite TV show?
A: Mad Men
J: Friday Night Lights

What is ASHER's favorite TV show?
E: Stranger Things
J: Stranger Things

What is JEN's favorite music to listen to?
A: Christmas music or Despacito [no and NO!]
E: Ricky Martin [....and nope]

What is ED's favorite music to listen to?
J: Jazz and Beatles
A: Miles Davis 

What is ASHER's favorite music to listen to?
E: Pirates of the Caribbean theme
J: Anything with a piano tutorial

What is JEN's favorite color?
A: Green
E: Green

What is ED's favorite color?
J: Pink 
A: Dodgers blue

What is ASHER's favorite color?
E: Red
J: Red and orange


Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Goodbye Letter to Seattle




Dear Seattle,
I will miss your emerald skyline, your parks that make the city feel like a giant playground. I will miss your ubiquitous water that is like liquid Prozac on my nerves. I will miss Rainier keeping a distant but studious eye over you and your soaring housing prices.
I will miss trying to order a Bitchwich at Biscuit Bitch with a straight face, fancy brunch at Portage Bay, and I will also miss scrounging the inner linings of my car for spare change to buy a Dicks Burger.
I will miss your magical summer evenings: splashing in the International Fountain with my boys and random nude adults on quaaludes, and bike rides along the Burke-Gilman trail - can we make it to Lake Washington tonight, kids?
I will miss ALL the salmon. Fresh salmon lofted between fishmongers at Pike Place Market, salmon grilled on cedar planks, salmon murals, salmon-shaped slides on your playgrounds. I will miss going to Ballard Locks with my Mexican father-in-law and trying to explain that no, you cannot just grab the salmon off the ladders and take them home to grill because they are "protected" - and that word getting completely lost in translation.
I will miss M's games and guessing if the giant roof will be open or closed at Safeco during the rainy drizzle. I will miss having to explain to my kid why people refer to the Downtown Biospheres as "Bezos Balls."
I will miss worrying that my pink-haired techy millennial neighbors will starve if UberEats ever goes under. And I will miss other neighbors with big houses who leave their Christmas lights up through the winter because the darkness at 4PM on a January afternoon can feel unbearable. I will miss giggling at the irony of your wealthy all-white neighborhoods dotted with Black Lives Matters signs, but I will also miss how those same neighbors cradled and reaffirmed our mixed family post-election.
I might even miss the jaw-dropping, white-knuckled bus ride that is the E-line a little bit.
No. No, I won't.
But most of all, I will miss you, Green Lake. Beautiful Green Lake, you have been the backdrop to my boys' childhoods. We have swung in your trees, swam in your water, boated to the epic and mysterious Duck Island. We have circled your path while trying to make sense of our own lives and the world we live in. And we always leave your shores feeling a little bit better.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Middle Aged and Rage-y

In preparation for our New Years Eve and the upcoming work and school week, I food shopped at my neighborhood Fred Meyers this afternoon and unknowingly ended up in the millennial check out line.

The female checker and the shopper in front of me both had recently turned 21. I know this because they were yucking it up while the checker rang up her groceries.

"Do you like that hard cider? It looks like beer to me. What are you doing tonight to celebrate?" Yuck-ity yuck yuck yuck.

At one point they were talking back and forth so effortlessly, I figured they had to know each other. But they didn't.

Checker finished ringing up Shopper. They said their final goodbyes. And then Checker turned to me.

Checker: "Hello, ma'am."

Me: "Hi, how's your day going so far?"

Checker: "Fine, thanks."

< Silence >

She rang up my groceries and I could only think, "Dang! I'm even wearing my on-trend jeans with holes and I still look like an old lady to her!"

I find myself vascillating between wanting to be acknowledged by millennials and being completely annoyed by them.

There is a pink-haired millennial who rents a place behind our townhouse. I run into him most mornings as I walk Noé to school. He circles with his cell phone in hand, looking ridiculously lost as he wanders his own street in pajama bottoms. It took me about a week to figure out what the hell he was doing. Finally, one day I saw him approach a car that had pulled up. The guy in the car handed him a McDonalds bag and then drove off. He had UberEats delivering him a freaking Egg McMuffin every morning!

As a penny-pinching, middle-aged rage-y mom, this is wrong to me on so many levels.

First off, I can count *five* breakfast places, all of which serve some type of egg sandwich, within a three-block radius of our street. This includes a fast food place that has an almost identical breakfast menu to McDonalds. His legs looked perfectly fine as he wandered down the street looking for his Uber delivery. And if he doesn't want to walk, heaven knows there are plenty of Lime Bikes lying around at any given time on our street.

Second, how much does it cost to get an egg McMuffin delivered to your house? I didn't find out, but the Seattle urban markup must be pretty steep. The closest McDonalds to our neighborhood is about three miles away. Plus delivery and tip, are you kidding? Whatever coding job he has better be pretty dang lucrative.

Third, even if that little pink squirt makes more money than me (which is often the case when you live just a couple miles away from Amazonia and all the other neighborhood tech companies), does he not understand the law of compound interest? I may just tape this article with accompanying charts to his front door. Those little egg sandwiches may only cost him twenty dollars each today, but they will cost him hundreds of dollars a pop by the time he wants to retire. I have another millennial co-worker who has made a really high salary since he graduated college, but ten years later, hasn't saved or invested a cent because he "doesn't trust the stock market." These super smart kids are just incredibly dumb sometimes.

I know some really impressive millennials. We host a Seattle Times intern in our home each summer. Each has been more mature, more gracious, more accomplished than the next. And I'm also quite positive that the generation before me found me just as irritating as I find some of these younger kids. From my vantage point - this generation is the pulse of the country and they certainly have the most energy, and you want to endear yourself to them. But they don't have enough life experience to command respect. It's just a strange place when you realize you are no longer the Up-and-Comer but rather the Judger from Above - The Middle-Aged Rager.

Friday, December 29, 2017

15 Years Ago in Manhattan




December 2002

December 2017

Fifteen years ago, pregnant me was flying through midtown Manhattan with a nervous Ed and an even more nervous taxi driver. I was too busy trying to avoid a taxi cab birth and the inevitably awkward local television news appearance to be scared. The cabbie won, and Noé was delivered inside NYU Medical Center six weeks short of his due date. Little did I know we would soon face much bigger problems than how to tame all that beautiful black baby hair. The last fifteen years? Unbelievably difficult and unbelievably wonderful. Noé's autism has changed the trajectory of our family. Our capacity for love and compassion has been stretched beyond former recognition. We want for very little besides a secure and happy future for him (and maybe some better sleep). 

Happy 15th Birthday, Noécito!

Sidenote: He blew out his candles this year!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thirteen


Thirteen is all legs and heart, with a dash of moodiness.

Thirteen is keeping a safe distance from your parents in public, but asking to snuggle after a tough middle school day.

Thirteen is taking advanced math, but walking half-way to school without your backpack.

Thirteen is when you finally learn your father's native tongue because your Spanish teacher looks like Miss Venezuela.

Thirteen is eating a full dinner with the family and then promptly going to the kitchen for three bowls of cereal.

Thirteen is calling puberty a "monster that is sucking away my childhood."

Thirteen is pounding on the piano for hours because there are just too many emotions.

Thirteen is alternating between being proud of your older brother with autism and being completely frustrated with him.

Thirteen is texting, jazz band, sleeping in, discovering girls, track meets, drawing in secret, Instagram, and STEM Club.

Thirteen may kill me.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Brunch with Benefits

42nd birthday morning at Biscuit Bitch, Belltown Seattle



When I was fourteen and bussing tables at Elmer's Pancake on weekend mornings, I would see couples wander into the restaurant and spread out a newspaper over their table while they ate their breakfast and sipped their coffee. They would hardly speak to one another, yet they seemed so content. Even as a young teen, the images of those couples represented what I wanted my future to look like: the freedom of adulthood but with the stability of having a loving partner by my side.  

Turns out, real adult life isn't exactly full of long, lazy brunch weekends like I had once assumed. But it is fun to do when we get the chance, like to celebrate my recent birthday. 

Sometimes it is the smallest dreams that really are the sweetest.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Seattle Adventure: Meeting Jerry


We loved meeting Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry fame! (Noé was not impressed).

We've had a beautiful fall here in Seattle and we've tried be outside to enjoy it all as much as possible!

A few Tuesdays ago, after a long day of work and school, we headed down to the lake for a walk around the path. Ed was running late from work, so I took the boys down to Ben and Jerry's for a cone while we waited for him.

We walked into the ice cream shop, where there was a small crowd gathered around a bearded older gentleman. We headed to the counter to place our order when the man came over to greet us and then asked if he could have a hug. Someone sitting at a table next to us whispered, "It's Jerry!" Asher was the first one to understand which 'Jerry' he was and immediately gave him a great big hug. An ice cream hero in his midst!

At first I had a very real fear that we had won some type of ice cream sweepstakes based on the frequency of our visits or number of cones purchased (how do I explain THAT to people? Jerry from Ben and Jerry's came all the way from Vermont to personally thank us for eating so much of his ice cream! It's not exactly the type of accomplishment that you want for your family). But it turned out he happened to be in town for an environmental conference and often visits his franchised locations while traveling.

Jerry was very personable and a fun conversation ensued. He seemed to enjoy being a minor celebrity. He told Asher the story of how he and Ben met in middle school on Long Island and their dream was always to open an ice cream shop together, which they (obviously) got to do. Asher is now convinced he will rise to stardom and wealth with his middle school BFF.

We ended our conversation with some pictures. Actually it turned into an entire photo shoot's worth of pictures thanks to Noé's strong objection to putting down his ice cream for the photo op.

As I told Asher on our way home, "Good things always happen when you get out into this city!"