From the Archive – 2004

Dec 31, 2004 – Good-bye 2004.

I can’t even begin to encapsulate everything that happened to us this year. Overall it has been a wonderful year and we are thankful for our many blessings. It was trully a year of recovery with Frank getting a steady job with a decent paycheck that will sustain us and the Pumpkin’s daycare. I don’t even need to add how the Pumpkin has made an impact on our lives. She is wonderful and everyday with her is priceless, even when she is cranky. I have undergone many adventures this year from stay-at-home mom to working mother of one. I feel like I am managing things ok and work is surprisingly satisfying lately. Things keep getting better and better so we are all looking forward to 2005.

Of course, this is in our bubble. Outwards, we are very sad about the tsunami. It’s lucky to have made it through this year without any man-made disasters but nature has a way of evening the score. My feelings are that people, on a whole, have to think of the bigger picture and stop fighting about stupid things and start paying attention to this planet which is neither reliable or stabile. Not that the tsunami is a result of us not taking care of the environment but it makes me think of other things we definitely can do something about. Buying an electric hybrid car is looking better every day. And I am happy we’re recycling again and wonder why, if a huge city like NYC can do it, why not everywhere?

I walked the longer walk to work this morning (to the 4/5 train) and really enjoyed the sleeping city. It was so peaceful in the neighborhood since the courthouses are closed and the subway was empty. I love the city when no one else is around. It’s quiet. And the weather is nice. It’s a wonderful end to the year.

And surprise, surprise, my boss came by and let us leave early. I am going as soon as I finish this. I could have left earlier but I wanted to get zansite partially posted. The new site, at, is half updated but I couldn’t wait. I am pleased with the new design and think I will stick with it for a while. I tried a new thing, bleeding edges and I like the result. I also added a fleur. I forgot how much I liked fleurs – strange because of the tattoo and all but now I remember how much fun they are. I must recommence my search for fleurs in the new year.

Anyway, I am off to enjoy a evening of fun with Frank and the Pumpkin. We have our fingers crossed that our plans for a fun at home night will materialize. If not, it’s still the best company I can think of.

I hope everyone out there has a happy and more importantly, safe New Years! See you next year!

Dec 30, 2004 – You can make me come, but you can’t make me work.

Yes, it’s 10 am in the morning, on a press release day no less, but here I am writing because I am still peeved about not having tomorrow off. Besides the idiocy of being the only company in New York who will be open for business tomorrow, I just realized that I will have to commute home amongst all the celebrating yahoos on the subway tomorrow. And you know they all start to drink early so they can be completely shitfaced by midnight. Just gotta get a jump on these things. Who in their right mind would want their employees traveling on a day like that? In order to make myself feel better, I bought a pecan sticky bun from Au Bon Pain for breakfast. It’s the latest splurge during this, the last week of dessert for me. I now have a tummyache which serves me right.

Tomorrow, which Frank has off, I am going to wear something really gothy-punk to work. I’m going all out because I won’t have to get the Pumpkin dressed and ready for daycare tomorrow morning because she gets the day off too. I can even wear impractical shoes because I won’t have to carry her down the stairs. Top it off with either pigtails or little buns and we have a winner. Just thinking about it is putting me in a good mood.

Because everyone does it, I’m going to mention things that I am going to do in the new year. One – either by losing weight or just dealing with it, I am going to come to terms with my new figure. Two – grow my hair out. Nope, this is not a typo, I really said grow my hair out. I’m aiming for something shoulder length and long enough for a ponytail or small braids. There will be none of that waist long stuff though. Once in a lifetime is enough for hippie, butt-length hair. Three – take the Pumpkin to the beach, zoo, and the aquarium. Four – get a new tattoo. Something pretty, if the budget allows. Frank and I are both restless for new art. Five – get rid of junk in the apartment by coordinating a yard sale with Mom. Six – visit the grandparents in Floreeda and scope out houses in Salem. It’s a modest list which I think I can do.

So, in retaliation for making me work tomorrow, I am taking today and tomorrow to work on new art for the website. I realize I just changed it but it isn’t working for me already. That’s what I get for being so hasty.

Dec 29, 2004 – An afternoon rush to make the day go by really quickly.

I got this project at work, relating to the tsunami, that should have been started on Monday, given that the tsunami happened on Sunday. Anyway, now we’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, or were anyway. I finished my part of the project so now I can relax. We created web boards so that our member corporations can exchange ideas on how they’re helping the people and local companies of the affected area. Already, many corporations have donated lots of money and supplies to help the people. I know people who are blatently anti-corporate, hell, I know lots of people who are but from my vantage point here, I see that sometimes it takes a corporation with a huge budget to be able to help with a situation of this magnitude. Of course, if everyone in the city gave just $1 to the cause, they’d raise over 8 million dollars. That’s just spare change to most people.

I’m enjoying the last of my desk candy supply as I get ready for my pending diet. It’s so easy to lapse into sugar consume mode. I wish I had such a thing for brocolli or something but I have a weakness for candy. Come Monday, there will be no candy in my life. My motivation is to slim down what’s left of the baby bulge. I’m so close… just a little more.

I posted the new zansite-ny. Already I want to change it. I’m so antsy when it comes to this. Meanwhile, I am working on making all the photo galleries flash oriented. They need to load a whole lot faster than it they’re just pages with pictures on them. The new albums are about 50 percent quicker. The smaller ones I’ll probably still just list the pictures. In any case, the site remains and probably always will be a work in progress.

I just found out I have to work on Friday. I am not amused. Frank and I were going to make an early day of it and just spend the day together which now we cannot do. Even if I get out early, it’ll totally ruin our plans. I feel like being completely unproductive or even counter-productive. I’m rather upset. If I was going out at night then it would be ok but I’m not because I have a little pumpkin at home and want to spend time with her. So aggrevating. We’re all a little upset by it.

Dec 28, 2004 – A touch of festivitus. A long-arse entry.

Yup, we’re all sick. The kind of mild sick you get after three weeks of stress and inadequit rest. Christine calls this festivitus.

Christmas Eve went well. We’re German so that’s our big day. Frank and I had a relaxing start to the day since he was recovering from too much office party from the night before. I got an decent night’s sleep because I had a nice quiet girls night in with Nina and Danielle instead which was a very nice way to start the holiday. Anyway, Christine picked us up around noon, bearing breakfast from Bagel World. After a short trip, with amazingly sparse traffic, we got to Mom’s. Frank started to feel crappy so we tucked him into my sister’s comfy bed and feather comforters and let him rest.

Going to Mom’s is like a vacation for me because I have several people to help keep and eye on the Pumpkin. She loves the extra attention and the different toys waiting for her there. Kelvin, the Bednarski’s and the Beattie’s joined us for a little pre-dinner visit and some presents. Frank resurfaced for dinner and presents afterwards with Mom, Christine and John but didn’t last too much longer after that. the Pumpkin has gotten the hang of present opening so it was fun to watch her open the gifts. the Pumpkin started to fade around 7 which is early but it was such a long day for her. Frank and I both got really nice presents, even though we would be content with just things for our little girl and everyone liked what we got them. It’s a relief to be done with the shopping. For the first time, I didn’t go to church. I just didn’t have the energy. I stayed home and hung out with my sister instead. We slept over which is easier for everyone.

Christmas day we got a little extra sleep because Mom gave the Pumpkin her morning bottle and she slept until 8:30. We had a nice breakfast together and sometime around lunch time, we said goodbye to Christine, who was heading up to Vermont. She has work up there for the next month. It only took us 45 minutes to get to Long Island so we stopped in for a short visit with Chris (Frank’s best friend) His chicky’s apartment is like a christmas-wonderland and poor the Pumpkin wanted to touch everything and of course we couldn’t let her so she started to fuss fantastically and since it’s a small place, we couldn’t let her roam either. The combination was volitile and equaled one cranky the Pumpkin.

At Kristen’s things went much better. We were greeted at the door by a very excited Trent. the Pumpkin was so happy to have someone her own age to play with. It’s a little tricky since the boys are older and can play with toys that the Pumpkin is still a little too young for. But she found the Little-People right away and was fairly content. By dinner time, she was pooped out. David moved Trent’s bed into their bedroom and completely baby-proofed so she could take a nap. He’s a total wize at accomodating her and we totally appreciated it because with her snoozing soundly in the other room, we were able to relax and have a nice dinner. We’re happy to learn that David got a job for a firm in the city, located three blocks from where I work. With the improved situation, they’ll hopefully move closer in to the city and we’ll get to visit more often.

Sunday was relaxing. I went to church with mom and John. the Pumpkin was ok until the end and then had a fit. All this excitement has been too much for her. For the rest of the week, we’re getting back to our routine. Frank and I decided to spend New Year’s at home and together just relaxing with the Pumpkin since she probably won’t handle another busy weekend. We’ll see if the neighbor’s are lurking locally and maybe pop in and say hi. Otherwise, we’re going to get a really nice bottle of bubbly and toast in the new year in our pajamas!

Of course our festive mood has been dampened by the bad news from Southeast Asia. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for those people. And a third of the dead are children. I was really bothered by the pictures of parents holding their dead children. I didn’t want to leave the Pumpkin at daycare this morning. I just want to hold her all day long. She won’t let me of course. She is a busy girl now and has stairs to climb, toy boxes to pick through and sit in, order to distroy, and messes to make. I’m praying for those people. If I was Bush, I would pull out of Iraq and immeadiately divert all expenditures to aid those people. Preservation of life is so much more important than the preservation of will.

Dec 22, 2004 – A happy day here at the office.

I’ve caught up, with time to spare. I will spend the rest of the day, after a brief snack, updating Zansite which is coming along nicely. Although I liked the previous site, I really needed to update the way the information is organized. I also made the cutest little map for the nesting section.

Anyhoo, the weather is better, hovering around 30 degree instead of 10. I finished my Christmas shopping last night and realized that no matter what, I will always forget someone who will in turn get me a present. We’re probably close to $1,000 in spending and it’s not like we went crazy or anything. Christmas is just like that. Even just wrapping the presents is expensive. I ran out of paper just as I was wrapping the last box so today I bought gift bags for the remainder. I hate having leftover paper.

Kudos to Amanda for getting me the cutest corset ornament. It’s pink and had feathers. She is the biggest sweetie out there. When I go out for lunch vittles, I’m going to get her some flowers since she won’t be here tomorrow for me to get a present.

Dec 21, 2004 – I am done!

I can’t take any more work today. I have almost all of my Christmas cards out. The others I need addresses for. I figure if they are late, oh well. I thought, except for my sister in law I was done with presents, but no. I need four more. I’m going to leave a little early tomorrow and hit up Barnes and Nobel and look for something there. You can never go wrong with books and actually, I know what to get for each person. One is for the Pumpkin’s daycare. I am getting them a gift basket from Garden of Eden, which is this awesome gormet market chain. We have one semi near the apartment.

I spent most of the day working on a cute map for the Normandy meeting I’ve been working on lately. I need to add some more flashing but I want to make sure they like it first before going all out.

The following is in the TMI catagory but this is my journal and I feel the need to note important personal events. For the first time in two years I got my monthy cycle. I’m having flashbacks to junior high school, when I got it the first time. I’ve been waiting, stalking even, for it to come for about two months now since once you stop breast feeding it’s not too far behind. I forgot how bloated I get and how uncomfortable it is. Now is the time to make an appointment with the gyn to get back on the snazzy b.c. pill, which I’ve missed this past year. I hate not knowing when it’s coming. I prefer a schedule plus the extra stress of knowing that I could become pregnant again is going to make me really uptight and more nervous than normal.

Christmas is only three days away and then it will be all about relaxing. I will be so happy to just lay low and veg with Frank and the Pumpkin. We have a busy extended weekend planned. Thursday, hopefully, Nina and Danielle will come on over for either a girls night out or in. We’re spending Eve with Mom, Day with his sister Kristen and Saturday at home recieving with assorted droppers-by. I’m bringing the laundry with me since, well, I have to do it sometime and I might as well multi-task holiday revelry with laundry. Why not? It’s free and nothing says Christmas like clean socks and underwear. Sunday will be the post holiday apartment purge and reorganizing since the presents have to go somewhere.

Dec 20, 2004 – Brrrrr. It’s cold outside!

We kicked this weekend’s arse! Saturday we got all the Christmas shopping done, except for my sister-in-law which will come later this week. We went to BuyBuyBaby to just look for a baby jogger but ended up getting one as well as the corral system. They were able to deliver the same day and by 9pm we had our new gear. The corral is really big. This morning I put the Pumpkin in it while I was in the shower and she seemed a whole lot happier to be in a larger space instead of in the crib. We want the crib to be for sleeping only now. Our place is getting smaller every day. While we were waiting for the delivery I got the Christmas cards filled out but will mail them tonight and tomorrow since I still have to get envelopes and find some more addresses.

Yesterday, the Pumpkin and I headed out to Church, trying out the new stroller, which is such an improvement on the old one. There were several other babies and kids so the Pumpkin had a lot of fun. She spent most of the service running around but my pastor is very interesting. We stayed afterwards for the holiday party. the Pumpkin found some cymbals and had a wonderful time. I stayed a little too late and had to rush home in order to get everything ready for a party at our friends Nick and Sara’s place. We got there late but not last. There was much pot-luck goodness and present exchanging, which we were apprehensive about but it turned out ok since we managed to get small but nice presents for everyone at Restoration hardware. I would love to really get the personalized types they get for us, which they are really good at but I just didn’t have energy this year. Next year will be better. I am starting earlier and doing it online. We got home way too late but what else are the holidays for, besides church, than to visit friends.

I dyed my hair blonde and I really need a haircut in the worst way. It’s taking forever to grow out, not something I’m used too. Hopefully Ali will be able to do something with it when I go later this week. Meanwhile, it’s a good thing I’m wearing hats a lot.

I am happy this is a short week. I want to get everything caught up at work and get the new zansite up and running, at least mostly.

Dec 17, 2004 – I figure I owe myself a selfish do what I want day.

To put it mildly, I kicked some major butt yesterday at work. I finished the marketing flash project which I was dreading due to the crayola up-chuck color scheme. But, as I was working on it, I started to have fun and really like how it came out. So far everyone really likes it, even the prior thorn in my side graphic director guy who I now get along with very well. He said good job in capital letters, no less! I ended the day by getting this project done super fast for another group here; the Normandy meeting for which I was listened to French music to inspire me the other day. It was a very good day.

Then Frank called and told me that he found this little BMW ride on car in the parts store of his shop and because it is missing a hubcap, they can’t sell it. The parts manager gave it to Frank for the Pumpkin. It’s the cutest thing. I took some preliminary photos this morning and will post them before the end of the day, along with the few birthday photos we got before our camera battery died. I was going to link to the BMW website but they use flash and you can’t link to the specific page and their navigation is tricky. I don’t want to steal the image because that would probably piss them off. I finished off the day by ordering presents for my Mom on This is going to be my new favorite online shopping place. I can’t believe the discounts and the shipping is super cheap. I got Mom $80 knives for $20 which left me moolah for new dishes. (Mom doesn’t read this so it’s ok.)

the Pumpkin was in excellent spirits this morning. She has started giving us big hugs. Last night we fed her fish-sticks, which she really loved at daycare but last night was only marginally interested in. It is so much fun and much more easier to feed her real food. I usually cut up whatever I am eating and give it to her. I’ve noted the rest of her recent milestones on her page.

Because it is Friday, I treated myself to a donut and a Starbucks Eggnog Latte. I am trying to nurse it because too much caffiene makes me shaky but at least I am awake. I’ll need this energy to get everything done today. I have to get my personal things up and continue tying up some things for work and finish whatever remains of my workmates projects that I am supposed to be doing while she is away. She returns on Monday and I couldn’t be happier! Our weekend plans include cleaning the apartment and finishing our Christmas shopping with a week to spare. Yay!!

Dec 15, 2004 – A free tuna sandwich and other things that make this a great day!

I was dreading today. I had to get a whole lotta work done and there was no hope to finish within the 8 hours then really good things started to happen.

I brought my Christmas cards down to the mailroom to be copied and the manager Doug, who is awesome, told me to send the file and he printed up much better versions than mere copies. Then I called about my flash class and found out I wasn’t registered which means I have my Saturday back and two more days to get work done. I am so relieved because trying to take a class, do domestic things like laundry and prepare food for and attend a Christmas party in two days wasn’t going to happen without a serious lack of sleep. Then my friend Renay is having a meeting here at work and she had leftovers in the pantry so I got a free tuna sandwich. The sandwich is good. It’s on challah bread and has nice chunks of crispy celery. Mmmm. So good.

Now I’m off to my weekly meeting – Whohoo!

Now back from the meeting, I have to make a sad note. Christine said good-bye to Freddie this afternoon. We will all miss him very much. He was a truely fabulous kitty.

Dec 13, 2004 – the Pumpkin’s big weekend!

Wow! What a weekend. There’s a lot so I have to try to summerize. Friday, was my office Christmas, ooops sorry, holiday party. I was hoping it wouldn’t be the same food that was at the annual gathering because that was just horrible. I met up with Amanda, my fellow corset wearer although not at this party, and we headed over to the Roosevelt Hotel. It was raining so we probably should have taken the subway but I didn’t know where the hotel was ahead of time so I just followed. I hate parties like this because there are too many people. I pretty much know everyone, more or less, but I don’t like talking to anyone. Well, maybe not talking, which is ok, but I hate to mingle. I never know when to go or how to move on to the next person resulting in awkward silences and exits. Plus there are always people you don’t want to talk to and spend the entire time trying not to run into. Thankfully, we only have one person like that here and he was minding his own business. I need to read Office Party Etiquette for Dummies because it’s way too stressful. I ended up at a very routy table with some truly fun and hilarous people, Amanda being one. With an open bar, we were all in trouble. The food turned out to be really good. My big crime was stealing this bowl of mini-marshmallows from the dessert table and bringing it back to our table. The desserts were very tasty as well. Marshmallows make everything better, including mixed drinks, of which I had too many.

Being drunk, and alone on the Subway is interesting. You think about these profound things, which you prompty forget. Everything is somehow more vivid, at least when you focus on them which you notice you are doing. Faster things move faster around you. You, however, seem to move very slow. I spent a little time in Grand Central station wandering around the Holiday Fair they have annually there. I love Grand Central during the holidays and actually, all of the time. It’s a neat place.

By the time I got to the Pumpkin I was feeling mostly, but not entirely, recovered. I hung out there for a little while since she wasn’t ready to go yet. Everyone sung Happy Birthday to her and she had this look on her face as if she was completely puzzled by this. Saturday wasn’t better. She must have thought we were all crazy. On the way home, we bought a very cheesy Entemann’s for Frank. I smoothed the frosting and re-decorated it. I just didn’t have time to bake something. While I was redecorating, the Pumpkin took the full water dish of the cats and poured it over her head. She was so pleased with herself even though she was soaked through. After clean up, I put her in the jumper with Baby Einstein on and finished getting things ready for Frank. We had a quiet birthday dinner and went to bed fairly early.

We picked up our very small, but real, Christmas tree along with some last minute party food and headed to Mom’s. the Pumpkin took a nice nap while we helped Mom set up. Food was simple, two six-foot heros and snacks because I told Mom not to make a fuss. When she woke up, we got her dressed in her little party dress which turned out to be the cutest thing ever. We’ve got pictures which will be up soon. Guests started to arrive around 4 and included Mom and John, Frank and I, my sister, Kelvin (Godfather), Danielle (Godmother), my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Corinne (Godparents), Frank’s Dad, Frank’s sister Kristen and her boys, Trent and Yale, and his cousin Garrett, my sister’s best friend Amanda and her friend Shawnda. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out but I think that was everyone. the Pumpkin made out like a bandit with the presents. We are so touched that everyone loves her so much.

She thoroughly enjoyed herself. Besides playing with all the new toys, highlights for her were when she saw her cake and easily recognized Bard, her favorite baby einstein character (my sister did an amazing job decorating the cake), and when she saw Trent come. She is always happy to see someone her own age, he’s almost three, and after three hours with the grown-ups she was really happy to see him. Frank smashed cake in her face, which she didn’t seem phased by, and in turn got a cupcake mashed into his cheek by his dad. Once the Pumpkin was done with cake (my sister made cupcakes for the grown-ups) we gave her a nice warm bath. By 7 pm, she was worn out and tired. She slept for the entire night and another two hours after breakfast.

I stayed up until 2:30 am with my sister so I could do our laundry. We always bring it with us because it’s so much cheaper to do laundry at Mom’s. Five hours later, I was dropping my sister off at the subway. We had a nice breakfast together since Amanda, Shawnda and Kelvin stayed over night. Frank and I headed home at around 11, stopped at Target but then decided to head back to Mom’s so that the Pumpkin could eat lunch and nap. During her nap, we played Frank’s new Dread Pirate board game which is really a cool game. It was my birthday present to him.

We finally got home, settled in a little bit. My sister came to pick up her car but ended up crashing on the couch.

I can’t believe our little one is a year old. It went by so quickly.

Dec 9, 2004 – Once upon a time, I was a musician, in a land not so far away…

It’s depressing how people take things for granted. With everything in my life, I try not to be this type of person. I have a wonderful family, who is supportive emotionally and financially. My mother is practically a saint and I’ve said numerous times that if it wasn’t for her, there would be no the Pumpkin. My family has been patient with my unique qualities over the years, even when it wasn’t at all kosher to be different. I have never felt the need to hide who I am, what I wear, or how I choose to look. I know of many situations where this is not the case so I am grateful for this.

I don’t take my marriage for granted. Frank is a wonderful husband who tries very hard to understand me, even when I don’t understand myself. He is the right balance of patient and stubborn (to keep things interesting) and most of all, is a wonderful father. We’ve both worked very hard for what we share together.

Together we have an awesome group of friends that have proven their worth to us over and over again. We’re more like one big family.

The one thing I have taken for granted lately is my music. I am fortunte that God hasn’t decided that I am an unworthy retch and therefore take away my ability to write music. I mean I can hear things constantly. The music is in my head floating around but sitting down at the keyboard and writing is an entirely different story. I have a million excuses, none of which are worthy reasons for not being able to find at least one hour a week to sit down and work out ideas or practice. And it’s not even the Pumpkin’s fault because I really stopped working in earnest a while ago, before she was born.

If I regress, I would have to say that the point where I stopped working on music, coinsides with Frank quitting his job at Cablevision (evil bastards!) When he was working, I used to have Saturday to myself which gave me uninterrupted time to work on music. Once he was home all the time, I stopped working. You figure I if there was anyone I could work with it would be my own husband, but not so. I need to be alone. It’s an artist thing. Alternately, I’m still writing because I can do that where ever. It’s a more user friendly hobby but my passion and first love is music.

Now, with the Pumpkin, I really get no alone time so it’s almost a lost cause. However, the fear of royally screwing up a performance is worse than having my personal space crowded at home so hence the performance in January/February which will give me no choice but to get my act together and start working again. I’ve given myself until the holidays are over to enjoy the last of my goofing off and then it’s back to work, in the living room, which blows goats.

Dec 7, 2004 – It’s been a rather intense week so far but don’t worry. Nothing bad.

Our weekend was nice. Although we were supposed to stay home and clean, we decided to head to Target for some Christmas and neccesity shopping. Thanks to my Grandmother’s early Christmas present, we were about to get three months supply of household items and cleaning products. I have no idea why it is so expensive to be clean but it is. For Christmas, Frank bought Metal Gear Solid, part 3. I am wrapping the box and putting it under the tree. It was going to be his birthday present but she also sent him money so under the tree it goes. I normally hate the early present idea but he won’t get to play it if he waits until Christmas because he is starting his training in January. Via the mommy and daddy elves, my Grandmother got the Pumpkin several really neat toys, most of which make noise. We let her try them out in the store to make sure she likes them. Personally, I didn’t really want anything so I get help with the bills for a month. That stress reduction is a good present

I am making nice progress towards total present acquisition. I got something for my mom, sister and Frank was already covered from before. I also got something for Mom’s boyfriend John, who is easy to shop for since he is so agreeable. I haven’t started on Frank’s side yet because I have no idea. Reminds me that I have a few people, his sister being one, to call with directions to the Pumpkin’s party at my mom’s. Beyond that I think everyone will get a nice bottle of wine. I’m taking a class from the 16th to the 18th and I have to have sometime when I can do my laundry and clean my apartment. It’s insane so if I have to get generic presents for certian people, then that’ll have to do.

We’re most likely not getting a Christmas tree this year. I’ve never been without a tree but with the Pumpkin and the cats probably already planning their assalts, it’s not a good idea. Our place is just not laid out well for a tree. We’re going to put up the other decorations. We’re definitely having stockings. I’m going to buy nice holders with the previously-allotted tree budget money. The new IVAR arrangment will work out well for displaying the cards. Oh dear, that reminds me, I have to make the Christmas cards and print them out later this week. Ah the insanity.

Saturday night, I got all pissy because I do not like prematurely opening presents and think Frank should have waited five days until his birthday for his game (he doesn’t understand this) and I am generally cranky because the bills are lurking around making me not able to think about anything that I’d like for Christmas that isn’t bill-payment related and I am not getting a tree (sulk sulk). All I want is money so I can buy presents for everybody else. I like buying presents and wraping them. Anyway, said cranky behaviour resulted in a little marital spat on Sunday regarding the above issues as well as this sound card disguised as my christmas present. I would really rather have had something else but suddenly this became a good present idea since I agreed (not suggested) that it would be nice to hook the pc up to the stereo. It was a Homer’s bowling ball type present. You know, the time he buys Marge a bowling ball for her birthday even though she doesn’t bowl. I mean, we go home and I would have liked help with dinner but Frank was like, no no no I have to install this stupid thing immeadiately – blah, blah, blah. Ok, I was a little upset by this. If it was my present then I should have at least gotten to take it out of the box. I retaliated with a pissy attitude and general feminine miscommunication which exasperates him – so ha! Turns out the sounds card doesn’t work as we had hoped so it’s history and I can get something else. But what? Who knows. I am not helping anyone out here. I would like perfume but it’s a lot because I have to like Dior which is really just like me to like something unaffordable.

No worries though. Our spats are like the pressure releases on radiators. They are little bursts of steam that need to be let off once in a while. I wrapped the presents, saw that I am actually making progress in the acquisition of material holiday cheer, put them in a neat pile and immeadiately felt much better. In the morning all was well.

My workload at the office has picked up incredibly. As long as I manage time effectively and don’t get sick, it’ll be ok. But I’m busy, hence no journaling recently. All would be good if my workmate, who I miss terribly, wasn’t off honeymooning. I can’t wait for her to come back. I am so bad at the data entry things. I have to limit myself or I will go postal. I have one project for a meeting that is going to occur in Normandy. To get in the proper mood, I’ve been listening to French music all day.

As a side note, Freddy has been getting all sorts of fabulous well-wishes. He is enjoying Chinese food and doing remarkably well considering. My sister is very happy to be spending the extra time with him. We are wondering if there is something in Chinese food that promotes longevity?

Dec 3, 2004 – A tale of a brave little kitty.

I must spin a tale of a special little kittie. On night, in the fall of 1988, a Thursday the 12th in fact, my father heard a loud meow outside our house window. After checking to make sure our two kitties, Sneakers and Varmit were inside safe, he looked out the window and saw a very small black kitten running around. Of course we had to catch it so he and I went outside in the drizzling rain to acquire said black kitten. After much chase, I scaled my neighbor’s fence and we cornered the little guy in his ivy patch. Not knowing what to expect, I put my hand in the greenery and grabbed the cat. Said kitty then proceeded to craw his way free so I stuffed him into my raincoat. Being that these were the days when I was younger and a great deal more limber, I was able to jump back over the fence with the kitty. I ran into my house and we put the kittie into our downstairs bathroom since we didn’t want the other two to stress out. We decided to call the little kittie, Freddie, after Freddy Kruger, it being one day prior to Friday the 13th and in honor of his claw filled escape attempt.

Freddie stayed behind the toilet and hissed at anyone who came anywhere near him. He seemed cute enough but had a very bad cattitude. My sister did something to him and eventually brought him around. As a kitten, Freddy would eat all the other cats food so we had to lock him in the bathroom during feedings and he would meow quite loudly until he was released. During the next several years, he learned all sorts of neat things. He comes when he is called and will jump into my sister’s arms. In many aspects he is like a dog. He is always ready to sit on a lap and purr, very loudy. Additionally, when he gets excited, he meows while he purrs making this flubber-type noise (see the movie to hear the sound).

Freddy has always had a sensitive stomach and in his later years, he has been a handful, but we love him so my mother and sister have taken good care of him. He developed this bizaar tumor over his eye, which when removed, left him with the most diabolical yet surprised look of having ones eyebrow raised.

Unfortunately, over the past two weeks, he has been looking really skinny and he has been having more trouble than usual with his food. When my sister took him to the vet they told her his days were numbered (kidneys are kaputt). They gave him a special shot of vitamins, something for his stomach and dehydration which really pepped him up. Although he had a rough night one night’s ago, he seems to be doing very well. My sister says he is really showing a brave little kittie face in the end. We will miss him very much when the inevitable happens. Meanwhile she is enjoying every extra moment she gets with him. We are hugging our little furry ones a little closer these days.

I remember when I had to say goodbye to Sneakers. After 17 years, he just started falling apart. There isn’t much you can do except the humane thing and at my vets recommmendation, I let them administer the big snooze. I would have loved an extra week but his condition was far worse than Freddy’s. I was mortified since there is nothing like the special relationship between a cat and his person and I had had Sneakers since before I moved to New York. He had comforted me during some of the worst times of my life. The time we have with our kitties is far too short. Thankfully, he waited until I had married Frank and had a new support in my life before he said goodbye.

Of coure there is a silver lining to everything. I think of Chloe, who has turned into a wonderful cat and Dante, our little accidental acquisition, neither of whom we would have if Sneaker’s hadn’t passed on. And, since you can’t fight nature we simply learn to cherish what we have a little more which is why we spent $2200 on Dante’s hips (good as new!) and kept Chloe even though she was nasty-cat extrordinaire (much nicer now).

Dec 3, 2004

My workmate is getting married on Sunday. Since she will be gone for a few weeks, I am in charge of getting her work done. I forgot how tedious doing this particular task was. After getting through half the work load, I am done and very worn out. I almost cannot face a full two weeks of this. I am hoping that things will slow up a little bit because I had a fairly full plate before I got this extra work and I have deadlines of my own.

So I am ready for the weekend. I have to get the Pumpkin and Frank’s birthday presents but otherwise I can relax and clean up the place.

Dec 2, 2004 – We’re all feeling quite crappy.

The week started out ok. When I picked the Pumpkin up from daycare, her eyes had a little discharge. By the time I got her home, it had gotten a little persistant but not nasty or anything. I called our trusty 24-hour nurse service and the nice nurse suggested that I take her into see the doctor. Only problem is that Tuesday was one of the days I absolutely cannot miss work. So, figuring that the doctor’s office has my number and knows I need an appointment, I bring the Pumpkin into work with me. I cannot work with the Pumpkin running around all over the place. She is so happy to be in a new place with so many friendly people. I managed to get a workmate to watch her for the fifteen minutes it takes me to do what I have to do. Then we waited in a friend’s office for the doctor to call us back. the Pumpkin has no fear of heights and likes to look out the window down to the street. Breakfast went relatively ok although she fed oatmeal to my mousepad. By 11 am I had still not heard from the doctor’s office despite repeated phone calls. Finally at around 11:30 am, I am able to make an appointment for 3:15 pm.

Thank God I work in a kid friendly place. I was discussing something with my boss and the Pumpkin flings her bottle down, breaking the seal and spilling formula all over the place in my bosses office. Thank God I work with patient and understanding people. Finally the VP comes over, picks up the Pumpkin, stating that he has found something better to do than his meeting, and walks off with her so I get a few moments to gather ourselves together. Considering it was over an hour past her naptime, she behaved remarkably well. I decided since we had so much time to kill, that we would walk to her appointment, about 40 blocks. She fell asleep before 45th Street and I had a nice leisurly walk downtown. I am always happy to enjoy a walk through the city.

The doctor diagnosed the Pumpkin with both an ear infection and a eye infection. She has to take antibiotics, which she does very well (apple flavor rocks!) and eye drops which are more complicated and involve restrainment which she hates. She got her first flu shot which is a very good idea so just as well we came in. We enjoyed a nice day together yesterday playing, since she isn’t acting sick. I should have done dishes but didn’t. I did make a very tasty dinner.

Today has been hard since I feel crappy. But I took a Dayquil so I’m surviving. Plus being able to drink caffiene is awesome.

Nov 29, 2004 – It’s going to be a long one.

It feels like I had a lot longer than four days off and still, I am so tired. Thursday, we woke up nice and early, or I did at least, and made cranberry relish, from stratch, and apple pie. We got a little late start going back to Mom’s but not anything schedule ruining. By four-thirty, everyone, Mom, John, my sister, her boyfriend Will, Frank, me, the Pumpkin, Kelvin and family friends Bob and his wife Joan, had arrived. Joan was the one who I got Chloe from. Silly me, I forgot to take pictures. I’m
still not used to having a camera handy. The menu included my cranberry relish, a turkey, baked yams with maple butter on the side, mashed potatoes and gravy, winter squash, brussle sprouts, green beans, red cabbage and stuffing. Everything was quite tasty and relatively low calorie since no one in my family really cooks fatty food. the Pumpkin enjoyed her first turkey. I cut everything into little pieces for her and she did surprisingly well. Unfortunatelly, my mom’s rug didn’t do as well. We’re going to
work on some sort of cover for future meals. For desert, we had ice cream, apple pie, pumpkin cheesecake and mini-canolis. We sat around for a while, just having a good time until the Pumpkin went to sleep. Then we started on the drinking. This year we have a whole lot to celebrate (champagne!). The ogre is gone and we can finally have a nice time at my mother’s house. We welcomed John into our family and we all agree, he is really the nicest person. My sister is back at home and we three are quite happy to be
together again. Distance is hard for us since we are very close. There is a quiet happiness among our family which is a welcomed thing after all these years.

Kelvin, Frank, me, my sister and Will decided to play a little Risk. Although I got what would be the only continent, I wasn’t doing all that well. I’m not sure what happened but Christine started to feel crappy and the three of us kind of gave up. Kelvin left to go to another party and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in my clothes on the pull-out couch. I woke up feeling crappy, which serves me right. After a little bagel and schmeer and some water, I recovered. Not too long after,
everyone else woke up. For the rest of the afternoon, Frank copied files for my sister, the Pumpkin was being very naughty and touching the computer and, we tried to play Lord of the Rings Risk but gave up. During the Pumpkin’s nap, we started to play regular Risk again and finally got a decent game going. I got North America but donated my territories to Frank and my sister when the Pumpkin woke up. Not too long after we went home. Christine and Will stayed for pizza and we walked Dawn of the Dead. I am not one for zombie movies but
I thought it was very good. Creepy and gross but not paticularily haunting.

Saturday, Frank let me sleep in late to prepare for our night out. We spent the day cleaning the apt so Mom and John wouldn’t have to sit in a dirty place. They came over at about 8 and we got ready to go to Contempt. I wore my new hair with great results and actually fit into pre-the Pumpkin clothing. We got a little bit of a late start but made it in time for our door shift. I got lots of compliments on my new look and some people didn’t even recognize me. I felt energized the entire night because I drank
caffiene, which I have missed over these past few months. We were joined by our friend Thomas and had a wonderful time, with lots of dancing. I miss going out but I’m still tired today so I can’t do this every weekend. I got home just in time to get an hour of sleep before the Pumpkin woke up. I gave her a bottle and got another two hours of sleep. After I gave her her breakfast, Mom and John played with her until I got up at ten-thrity. It’s a rough schedule. Our friend Lam came over for a nice relaxing brunch and quality time with
the Pumpkin. the Pumpkin loves Lam. She’s really outgoing but she responds as well to him as she does us. It’s very cute. Frank and I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watching tv.

I keep forgetting our online is back from the dead. Live-Journal looks a little funny on our browser at home so I don’t like using it. Still, it would help for times like this when I have a whole lot to write about.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Our lives are finally stabilizing and we feel we are at the start of a new and better stage. the Pumpkin is our biggest blessing but we are also thankful for our mother’s new happiness. We are thankful to have the support of family and friends. We are thankful for Frank’s job and a bigger budget. We are really looking forward to the rest of the holidays. I must schedule so I get everything done. Web shopping here I come!

Nov 23, 2004 – Wonders never cease.

Both of my meetings went very well. There was a good exchange of dialog and ideas and no nazi-like behaviour. In fact, I couldn’t have hoped for a better meeting and I have tons of ideas based on everyone’s suggestions. Based on this, I am psyched to continue communicating and working well with others. I am going to be very busy over the next few months but busy is good.

I designed the invite for the Pumpkin’s birthday in flash and emailed it out. See the snazzy flash invite. I’ll have to do the printed version tomorrow when I can use the color printer without anyone noticing. We are in a sad state of budget once again and I need freebie color printing. Hopefully no one will tell Disney and the Baby Einstein company that I used their branding without permission. I figure it’s to a small audience of my family so it should be safe. All we have to do now, is wait for RSVPs and get everything together. I plan on getting to Mom’s at noon to give us plenty of time to set up.

I made important phone calls today and feel that I am on top of things I need to get done.

Nov 22, 2004 – I am thankful for a short work week.

I had a wonderful weekend. We got the laundry done, Frank finished his prep exams for school, and I went to IKEA with my sister. I stuck to my IKEA budget which I am very proud of. I bought containers for things in my bathroom. The basket I bought was a little too small so I might give it to my mom and hunt for an alternative. They didn’t have blue bags so I took one from my mom, she said ok, who just picked a few up. I got wrapping paper and trimmings for Christmas. I got a basket thingy to hold the Pumpkin’s toys. I got another IVAR shelf since Frank uprooted my journals from a shelf and used it for his speaker. I also got some small bowls for the Pumpkin’s food since the coffee cups are cutting it. I also got a multi-outlet adapter which was a real bargan at 0.99. We passed on the meatballs and split a cheesecake instead. It was a wonderful, guilt-free IKEA experience. I have a few things added to my wishlist. One, the Noresund bed in queen-size. Two, this awesome bedding set in green shantung with embroidery. So beautiful.

This morning, we woke up to a crying the Pumpkin. I wasn’t going to get up since we’ve been sleep training her and letting her cry it out but she didn’t drink her bottle before bed and I knew she was thirsty. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the clock and saw 5:59 am! She slept through the entire night with I being in the same room together. I was just telling Frank that he might as well get up too when the alarm clock went off. the Pumpkin got a full bottle and some swieback toast and enjoyed the rest of the morning walking around, helping me get ready and playing with her toys. We hope this might be the beginning of sleeping nights. An added bonus is the beautiful foggy and gray weather. I love the harbor on a foggy gray day. I made it down the stairs in my stockings since I can’t wear heels and carry the Pumpkin down those stairs.

My meeting is in two hours. I am wearing my blue silk suit which I hope is intimidating enough. I figure my gameplan should be to remain fairly quiet in the beginning and then simply state my case and reasons for my thinking. Beyond that, really what can I do? My boss knows the deal so we’ll see how things pan out. I am absolutely not just rolling over and letting the brand nazi get his way unless I feel it is something I agree upon as well. I refuse to create something ugly just because he says so. I told my boss about his not copying me on emails and he agreed that this was not an encouraging show of mutual communication.

Nov 19, 2004 – Horray for Amanda!

A few things. I got my review at work. I’ve been improving the entire working well with others thing. Actually, it’s not my fault. My old boss really didn’t let me interact first hand with a whole lot of people here. So naturally my communication skills were nonexistant. Not my fault. Since he’s gone, I’ve been getting more opportunities to meet with colleagues, first hand regarding web projects. This I like. I mean, with my clients I was already doing this and in a much greater capacity. Being here was actually frusterating. So now I am doing more communicating with everyone except that particular thorn in my side, which I have mentioned in prior journals. Mind you, I will work with everyone else in the company and have without any problems. Everyone else is also not condensending, rude and unprofessional.

So in my review my boss is like, yup, you’ve got to open the lines of communication and work together, blah blah blah. I agree. I tell him it’s been about a year since he bascially told me off for being stupid. Ok, not in so many words but he was unforgivably condensending and very unprofessional in an email. A year later, I am ready to face the music and start working together. So what happens? I arrange for meetings and copy everyone involved in emails, and he send emails to one of the people, does not copy me, basically agreeing with me but not the part I wanted him to agree with since it was a bone I threw out to be “cooperative”, one that I was hoping not to stick to since it involves me creating what could very well be the ugliest flash presentation going. Point is, he did not copy me on his email which does not lead me to believe communication will be improved. I am not going down a one way street with this guy. I am not kissing his arse. Should he continue not copying me on emails, I will definitely say something requesting that he comply or I am returning to excluding him from my design processes.

Which brings me to my next point. I made this flash. It’s really nice and the marketing VPs at a recent conference said that thought it was done by a professional firm and came across as very suave and snazzy indeed. Overall, this has been a great product. I like it. This wonderful flash is the one that is in danger of being replaced by something that is supposed to mirror our really fuuuuugly marketing brochure which looks like crayola up-chuck. Now, I have a meeting on Monday with all the parties involved when I can plead my case. We shall see. I am going to wear a suit-ish outfit on Monday as to be very professional and intimidating. I am not looking forward to it and wish I could just design in a bubble and be left alone. What is bizaar, is that this is a person who, in social, outside of work situations, can be really nice. Go figure.

Whoops, that was a large rant. Ok, no more ranting. My workmate Amanda, who working with the working groups, recently went on a trip and brought me back… BATTYS!!!! Apparently, they had battys everywhere but New York. She thought of me and bought me like 20, full-sized, battys! I am elated. I brough two home for Frank and had one today so far. Perhaps I will bring a batty with me to my meeting on Monday to protect me from the evil I will have to face.

Last night, I forgot my wallet at work. I didn’t realize this until I had already picked up the Pumpkin and was in the CVS. Not wanting to make the trip back in alone, I dragged Frank, who needed lunch which was why I had to get it last night, and the Pumpkin back into the city. After I got it, we went to Gudt Fud for a little dinner. It’s expensive, considering it’s only a hot dog but it’s very tasty and the one-dollar beers equalized the bill. the Pumpkin was very well behaved. She has learned a new trick. She waves at all the coming and going subways. It’s very cute. She continues to hold the pole like a little commuter although now she wants to walk around which, of course, we can’t let her do. She didn’t get cranky at all even though we stayed out an hour past her bedtime. We picked up baby supplies and fried chicken on the way home and called it a night.

This weekend, we are staying relativly close to home. We’re still working on a narrow budget because of expenditures two weeks ago. There will be laundry and a field trip to IKEA where I will pick up new blue bags for laundry. I don’t dare spend more since I have Christmas shopping to do. There is nothing we need that’s an emergency. We’ll probably have meatballs because it’s a crime not to if you’re there.

Nov 15, 2004 – My new favorite website.

I am not fond of complainers. I really respect and try to emulate proactive people and behavior. But sometimes there are situations you can’t do anything about. Take this past election for example. Nothing can be done because the dork is it office. He is sneaky so we can’t get him out. Of course the term is young. He may screw up yet. When the chips are down, I believe in humor. This is why my new favorite website is It’s a simple site with lots of pictures submitted by people who are sorry and wanted to express visually their feelings. The comments vary from basic to downright hilarious. It really creates a feeling of comradery for those of us who didn’t vote for the yahoo.

Speaking of the vote. I am still shocked that someone who the majority of the people disapprove of, got the majority of the people to vote for him. In any other job you’d be fired if more than half of the people thought you were doing a bad job. It’s voodoo statistics. Very creepy stuff.

We had a nice weekend, spent cleaning the apartment. It’s mostly in order. We really do have too much crap. I remedied this by removing a shopping bags worth of clothing from my closet and one pair of shoes. I already feel better. the Pumpkin has tons of items that need to go. I am keeping the really cute items so I have to go through and decide what I want to keep and what can go. Most will go but there are always those special things. I have to approach my mother about storing some of the gear at her place. Since there is the distant possibility of another child (don’t ask Frank since right now we’re having sleep problems and he is cranky) I am not going to buy all new stuff. It all folds flat anyway.

the Pumpkin is really walking all over the place. We had lots of playtime while Frank was studying for his school in January. Because it was the anniversary of Frank’s mom’s passing, we went out to a special dinner at TGI Friday’s. Frank saw the commercial for the Jack Daniel’s burger and got all excited so we headed to the new TGIF on Fulton. The building used to be the famous Gage and Tollner steakhouse. Thankfully they haven’t change the historic interior so we got a taste of the original place. We couldn’t have afforded it anyway so this was nice. The inside is period 1880 including gas light fixtures that until recently, actually worked. There is a huge floor to ceiling mirror at the far end of the restaurant that the Pumpkin loved. A waitress brought the Pumpkin a baloon which kept her well behaved and quiet for the entire meal. Every time a wait person went by, she waved at them. She really is the best baby and if we were sleeping it’d be perfect. Of course, nothing is perfect.

Back to Gage and Tollner. Check out this website,, to read a review from the 50s and see a picture. It really hasn’t changed. Forgotten NY,, has some recent photos. Despite what the author says, TGIF has really tried their hardest to maintain the interior. At least the building is a protected landmark and can’t be messed up.

Nov 12, 2004 – Another week bites the dust.

It’s Friday. I am so happy it’s Friday. I can overlook the hell that is my sinus infection because it is Friday.

Frank and I are broker than broke. This means a home weekend full of cleaning, purging and organizational madness. He also has to study for tests he needs to take for the STEP program in January. So it’s just as well we don’t have distraction this weekend and we are forced to stay home. Staying home means we get more naps in too. This is a good thing since as soon as we go back into the bedroom, the Pumpkin returns to her nocturnal wakings. We are tired. My only hope is that in January, Frank will stay with my mother for a week, during which I can just let her cry and she can learn that sleeping at night is a good thing.

I’ve been updating Zansite like a maniac this week.

IKEA page – – which is all about my IKEA obsession. Frank finds IKEA annoying to put together, even though he is good at it, and grumbles everytime I bring home a new item so this is all about me.

Pictures from last weekend’s outting to the Museum of Natural History – – see the Pumpkin bond with the frogs.

I love the ga-nomes – – and now there is a page devoted to them on my website.

I added the pattern to my 4″ fabric balls – – which are fun for all sorts of things.

Halloween pictures –

And I added some new links to Frank’s page regarding pirates –

In adding all these things, I realize that the new design of Zansite is not going to work. But I don’t have time at the moment to rework it so it’ll have to do for now. I realize that it is hard to manage so many aspects since it’s a professional and personal site. It’s tricky to figure out how to convey this in an intuitive way. But that is what web designers do so I will figure it out.

I got an extra fun project at work this week. Our Europe office asked me to create a flash holiday card for them again this year. This is a super fun project for me and I’m having a good time doing it. Of course the pleasure was shortlived since before I leave today I have to do this other thing which I have been procrastinating on. Blech.

Nov 11, 2004 – A trying day in the nassau probate court.

I got up late. Had to find something professional to wear. Bearly made it out of the apt in time to meet up with Mom to get the car. Then I dropped the Pumpkin off at daycare, Mom at the subway and began my venture out to the Nassau County Probate Courthouse. First of all, I took Atlantic Avenue to the Interboro (Jackie Robinson) which was a smart idea. Practically no substantial traffic. I made it to the Grand Central in good time. Then whammo – stop and go. Why in God’s good earth is there stop and go going out to Long Island? Where do all these people come from? And they all change lanes like dorks. I hate it. I can’t understand why anyone would subject themselves to commuting by car ever. My stress level was the highest it’s been in years.

After one wrong turn, stupid Marcus Avenue, I made it to 262 Old Country Road. The lawyer said to look for a brownstone which is a good clue except that 262 Old Country Road is not a brownstone. It’s more like a tan, marbled stone. But how is he supposed to know I live in brownstone headquarters? Once I found the building, I drove around in the parking lot for not less than 20 minutes looking for a space. Why they only have lots and not a garage is beyond me. The entire layout is a civic engineering nightmare. I hated everything about the entire commuting by car process but when I found that spot it was like winning the lottery so I was in a pretty good mood by the time I got to the courthouse.

I showed up, the judge left without talking to us. I spoke briefly with both lawyers and then my aunt and her lawyer and I headed back to his office. He discussed the particulars with us and filled me in on what was going on. Background being that my aunt is sort of contesting my evil grandmother’s will. I just want my dad’s stuff back. I mean what is my grandfather going to do with that stuff? I bet he doesn’t even know it exists. I think his family would actually just throw it away so why not give it to us. My aunt says my grandfather is practically looney at this point. He actually chased a family friend out of the cemetary with a watering can. In the years since I last saw them, their health and probably sanity obviously suffered. I would have loved to stay in touch with my grandfather but with my aformentioned evil-grandmother in the picture, that was next to impossible.

From there I went to my great-aunt Polly’s house. She was once married to my evil grandmother’s brother, who was a nice man. She is now married to my great-uncle Bill. I haven’t seen them since I was a baby so of course I do not remember but they are the nicest people. With my Dad’s side of the family, we are picking up the pieces so that there is something. I didn’t even know until recently that my Dad had an uncle. I never heard stories of his grandmother and grandfather. Thanks to my aunt, I am starting to get a clearer picture about his life which explains a lot.

Of course, all this strolling down memory lane leaves me feeling unsettled. In my mind a lot of repressed things come back up when I think about my Dad and his family. Horrific comes to mind. I can’t even imagine what it was like. A lot worse than my childhood in any case. I would have loved to confront my Dad about what exactly happen to him. Having my aunt to talk to helps but there are questions I will never know the answers to. The entire thing has left me feeling tired and hungover. Being at work today has been hard. I feel like I am in a fog. Tomorrow will be better.

Nov 9, 2004 – It’s official. I am a geek.

I can never resist these IQ test thingys.

According to, I have a 151 IQ. They deem me capable of handling academic challenges. Their analysis says I have really snazzy spacial skills and that I am logical (checking for pointy ears now). They also say I have crappy arse short term memory. Surprise, surprise. I can’t even remember what I wore last week. Anyway since it’s online and not clinical, it has a certian level of hokeyness. I do feel like ever since I stopped playing with Legos, my mind has been developing cobwebs. Speaking of Legos, they make Legos for the Pumpkin, which are too big to eat. As soon as she seems to understand how Legos work, we’ll get them for her. Maybe a birthday present…

I can’t believe my little girl is almost a year old. It went by so quickly, too quickly. I am planning a Baby Einstein themed party for her since that is what she likes. She has a musical puppet and when we trigger the song, she shakes Bard so that he is dancing. My sister has volunteered to make and decorate a cake. I think it will just be a small family/ close friends gathering since she will also have a party at daycare. And we don’t have a whole lot of room in the apartment.

Tomorrow I have to go to court. My aunt is contesting my evil grandmother’s will. I pretty much blame my grandmother for my father’s shortcomings, if you will. I won’t go into details but my childhood was therapy worthy. Anyhoo, my grandmothers will is from 1977 and she left everything to friends and her husband, who is still kicking but barely. My aunt feels something is fishy so she is contesting the will and I’m going for moral support. She feels my sister and I are entitled to my father’s share. It’s be nice but really, all I want are my father’s personal belongings that don’t mean anything to my grandfather but mean a lot to me and my sister. It’s a debacle and typical of that side of the family. My aunt is the only redeemable one. My grandfather is ok. He’s not my paternal grandfather but rather my grandmother’s third husband but he was always nice. Who knows what being married to her for so long did to him though. Her death is thankfully the end of a long line of troubled individuals. Anyway it’s a good idea to have your will in order and it reminds me that Frank and I need to get ours done.

Nov 8, 2004 – Random blog madness and our weekend in review.

From Theodora:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal…along with these instructions.

Here it goes…

“You cannot know how his expression followed the turns of his story!” – H.G.Wells – The Time Machine.

The only reason I have The Time Machine on my desk is because it is this week’s NY Post book. It is a small book. I never realized how short. It’s on my list of re-reads.

The weekend went well. On Saturday I headed over to Mom’s for a visit and laundry services. My sister and I spent way too much time in Target. I did get a chance to buy two weeks worth of the Pumpkin food, which is always a good thing. My mom saw all the bags and must have thought I bought all this stuff but all those little jars take up space. We’ve started to give her toddler food which has been an adventure. The sooner I can stop feeding her that messy baby food, the better. So far she handles crackers and pasta well. It has typically taken two meals before she realized the new food is edible. I am going to make cubed sweet potato for her. I also got her pants that cover her ankles and new, with arch support, shoes since she is “walking” all over the place.

Sunday, we had a family outting to the Museum of Natural History. the Pumpkin loved it! She makes a little grunt when she recognizes an animal like a cat or turtle. We took her to see the frogs and she tried to grab them. Thankfully, for both the Pumpkin and the frogs, there was glass. We bought her a commemorative frog and she has been carrying it around with her ever since. In the aquatic creature room, the one with the huge whale, she did a bit of walking around herself, thanks to the railing which is just her height. She pooped out in the dinosaur section so Frank and I enjoyed some quiet time amongst the bones. I am really impressed with the new layout of the dinosaur rooms. Things are now arranged in genetic relation. They also showcase bones of the extinct animals next to living relations so you can compare.

Last time we went, we spent most of the time in the space and science sections. This time, we spent more time in the cultural areas looking at what equates to garbage from past and prehistoric cultures. I particularily got a kick out of the American Indian “Kelty” carrier which, although more primative, works very much the same. I wonder, with everyone in the teepee together, how anyone got any sleep. Perhaps that is what those peace pipes are for?

I was so tired afterwards that I just ate dinner and watched TV with Frank. I passed out sometime during the Simpsons. the Pumpkin had another rough night, despite two bottles, so I am tired again. I can’t wait for sleep week in January when the Pumpkin will learn to sleep through.

Nov 5, 2004 – Friday Friday Friday Friday

I can’t believe I made it through this week. With being sick and the Pumpkin’s new morning schedule, beginning at 5 am, I am amazed at what stores of strength I have. Some highlights of the week were that I found a new lunch spot this week – GÜdt Food ( I love it! And an old friend from college responded to a letter which was very awesome. Although she is far away, it is nice to be back in touch and really we are closer than we have been in years. Hopefully things continue to go well there because I’ve missed her. And my sister is back in New York and it’s nice to have her close by.

Tonight I was supposed to go out celebrating my friend Nina’s birthday with her but I’m optng out. Frank even offered to watch the Pumpkin but I am just too tired to make a 9 pm outting. This week kicked my butt, and with post-election depression and all, I’m just too pooped to party. I can’t believe I am letting a night out being myself go by but with my sister here, offering babysitting services, there will be others.

Last night I had another culinary success. I made southwestern skillet something or other from my new Everyday Food magazine and it came out both very tasty and looked exactly like the picture. Bonus points for presentation. I had to regroup since the shrimp and tomatos looked like something not tasty even though it was. I got creative and added fresh cilantro and olives – whoah nelly! It was nerve-racking but it turned out ok. Both Frank and I had leftovers for lunch. I am slowly getting the hang of this cooking thing. It’s very tricky and should I get lazy and not follow the instructions exactly, it’s pretty disasterous. Yes, I am aware that this is a Martha Stewert publication but it’s working so Martha be damned – I’m going to stick with it. It’s not like she wrote all the recipes anyway.

Well with 5 pm approaching, I’m out of here and off to pick up the Pumpkin.

Nov 4, 2004 – If you want to do a better job, do it yourself.

And I would love to. I would love to be in charge. My platform would include initiatives like homeland security that really secures the homefront. No military in Iraq but plenty of military presence in the airports and train stations. Marriage rights would be given to the church. You pick the church that has marriage like you like. Civil unions for everyone else with a revised accountability system (pre-nupts for all) including required classes to obtain your marriage licence. Decent, competent, general healthcare for everyone. Perks for doctors in the public service like tuition reimbursement and insurance deductions. Fancy healthcare for those who want to pay a very high premium. Perks for doctors who perform services for the needy. Stricter guidelines for malpractice insurance. Free public education through the college level. Welfare in which you need to work to get your benefits. No work, no eat. And on it goes.

What this country needs is a mother. Perhaps the presidency is a job too big for one person? Maybe the president should be a they?

I watched a small portion of 360 degrees with Anderson Cooper on CNN, who a super news anchor hottie, and Jerry Farwell was on being his charming self and I found myself screaming at the screen how his views would be fine if everyone was Christian but they’re not. What happened to separation of church and state? This is a good idea. The forefathers put it there for a good reason. Not because they weren’t religious or good Christians, but because they saw that morality and religion hinder the political process. Without answering to a Christian morality, you can answer tough policy questions in a way that is good for the people. And really, in the end, faith should be between people and their God, whomever it is. If you got rid of the Christian influence, it would get the focus off of gay marriage and onto education. Focus off of abortion and onto AIDS and STD epidemics. Focus off stem cell research and onto a cure for cancer. What Kerry needed to do was change people’s focus. America is like a horses head, the politicians can turn it in any direction they want by sheer will. And Bush is such a hypocrite anyway. If he was truly a Christian, he wouldn’t act the way he does.

Ok, enough ranting. No matter what, stupid Bush is in office for another four years. And he can do a whole lot of damage in four years. Under Bush, New York will become worse and worse. 2007 can’t get here fast enough. Meanwhile I am going to think about the Pumpkin, which always puts me in a good mood.

Last night’s dinner didn’t look like the picture but since Frank took the leftovers to work for lunch, I guess he liked it anyway. I thought it was pretty good, just looked funny. Honestly, I’ve been winging it a little too much and need to go back to following the directions. Tonight I am making this meat dish with a baked biscit top to it. We’ll see how it goes. For Christmas, I am buying myself some kitchen gadgets like measuring cups and spoons. I had a set of both and Frank made off with them. I’m also starting to Christmas shop now so I don’t have to deal with the rush and a monetary disaster. If I buy two presents a week starting this weekend, I will be all done in time for the big holiday without getting stressed or going over budget.

Oh yes – a very happy note. The holiday post-it notes are out. I bought some cute ones with snowmen on them. Love, love, love the post-it notes.

Nov 2, 2004 – I just had the best meeting of my life.

I just met with the head marketing person for our company. She’s relatively new and has some of the best ideas. I was completely rivited by her conversation and comments. I’ve got this cool-aid smile because I think, with her help, I am really going to grow as a web designer. She’s going to get outside people to come and offer advice and pointers. Just what I need. 🙂 And she has all these ideas for getting the sticks in the mud here to get their hinneys in gear. I’m so excited about the next few years. At the very least, I feel like I understand this woman’s wavelength and perspective and what’s more, I respect it and her. And I don’t feel threatened at all because I am a slightly under-educated web designer. I feel some glee in that she is really going to butt heads with some of the more prickly people here and they will have to bend because she has facts and figures to back her plans up, unlike other people who say things like “well you should just know.” blah blah blah. This will be fun to watch. Chuckle…

Now I must eat lunch because I feel very fainty.

Nov 1, 2004 – Horrible just dosn’t even begin to descibe it.

I had such great ideas for Halloween. Of course on Wednesday I came down with a nasty fever. Thursday I couldn’t get out of bed so Frank had to take the day off to help me and the Pumpkin, who also has a nasty cough. Friday morning I still feel crappy so I stay home with the Pumpkin. This time Frank goes to work but we manage ok on our own. Both of us enjoyed the extra sleep. Saturday was somewhat better but not really. Every time I tried to even remotely do anything, I felt fainty and even thinking about food made me nautious. I had and still have this post-nasual drip that triggers my gag reflex – it’s bad. Sometime between Friday and Saturday my throat started to feel like I had eaten razor blades so there you go. Sunday I still felt crappy, but better. I managed to eat a half bagel which was like eating glass shards. Yum! I sort of helped Frank with the laundry since I could sort sitting down. Together with my sister, her boyfriend Will and Kelvin, we managed to get the Pumpkin to the Halloween parade. After that I curled up on the couch and wimpered until bedtime. Today I am managing. I can’t believe I made it through the entire day.

So for more details. Last week, after getting a letter from our friend Thomas, we were so happy to know he not only was alive but coming back to New York! We made plans for a guys night out on Saturday. Kelvin came up from Maryland, resurrected our computer from the dead and joined Thomas and Frank for their guys night out. I would have loved to go but I was to sick. I miss going out and as soon as I kick this germ to the curb – hello outing! Anyway, after a little IT magic, Kelvin brought our computer back from the dead finding out in the process the reason of untimely demise. Death by Dust!!! I will now vacuum out my computer every month to help it not suffocate in the future.

Sunday was a lot of fun. I was feeling a little better. We got laundry done so I felt accomplishment. Kelvin returned and we got to meet my sister’s new boyfriend Will. Will is nice, we like him. However his visit was too short so we’re looking forward to a longer visit on Thanksgiving. the Pumpkin was a star at the parade. She insisted on walking and waved to everyone. We have video! Also pictures which I will post if I get a minute alone this week. I still don’t have my programs at home yet. That will come soon.

I was an hour late today but considering how I feel, that’s a miracle. I’m totally germing up the office but I hate the amount of sick days I’ve taken this year. Speaking of the office, I have discovered a new annoyance. I sit in close proximity to two very chatty ladies. One is fairly nice. The other comes off like a certified witch. I’ve always been friendly but she is so cold and pretentious. And for what? Not much, I can tell you. All day long they talk about shopping. If I shopped as much as they do, We’d have to move into another apartment with all the junk we’d have. I wonder how they get any work done with all the talking. And I have a strange idea that they were talking about me on Wednesday just because, well, I have an intuition just lets say. I mean I never did anything to either of these women, especially the one who really seems to hate me. Furthmore the one who hates me never says thank you when someone says god bless you after she sneezes which illustrates so much. However, I do not have to work with either lady therefore we do not need to play nice. But honestly, if you are going to talk sh*t about a co-worker, you should wait until they are out of earshot. Since they are so stupid I will merely add them to my list of unworthy-ables and move on.

Back on to good things. Hopefully this Friday I feel better because I got invited out! To a bar! For grown-up fun! I sense a Grandma visit in order. I’m pretty much going to beg. It’s my friend Nina’s 30th birthday broohaha and I really want to go out, with my husband, wearing my old clothing, and just have a really nice time.

Oct 26, 2004 – Relief and five more days until Halloween.

It was quiet at work so I wrote some letters to people I haven’t written to in a long time. I prefer writing instead of picking up the phone. I hate talking on the phone because I’m too tired lately to really keep track of what comes out. Plus, I am still doing that thing where I forget mid sentence what the point was. I also paid all of our crappy bills. I can breathe easy, at least for a little while. Things will reorganize and I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Meanwhile, I have to start Christmas shopping. If I start now, I just might get it done in time. Just trying to figure out what to get people is the hard part. I definitely am taking advantage of the internet and catalogues because stores scare me. Crowds scare me. Manhattan, during the Christmas season, when you have to go Christmas shopping scares me.

I finished tweaking Zansite. Next step, flash-i-zing the photo albums. I removed the flash nav since I really want fast loading pages, and they just weren’t helping.

I have also decided to paint the apartment in piecemeal fashion. The bathroom is the smallest but needs spackle. The living room will be alot easier if we do one side at a time. Plus, it’s easier and encouraging to accomplish small goals first. Tonight I am going to have Frank install our new shelf in the bedroom and take pictures for the IKEA addicts group that I just joined, because… my name is Suzanne and I am an IKEA-holic.

Oct 25, 2004 – Six more day til Halloween and what I did over the weekend.

Friday. Left work a little late but I posted the new and improved Zansite with Flash tastyness. On the way home, I ran into our neighbors, Rob and Rebecca. He had the photos from the Pumpkin’s shoot and a surprise! the Pumpkin’s ads are going to be in telephone booths all over mid-town. He got us one of the ads so we wouldn’t have to steel one. Our little girl is going to be super famous for the entire holiday season. I just hope she doesn’t kill me when she gets older and realizes everyone in Manhattan will have seen her little bum. It’s so cute though… the Pumpkin only woke up at 10:30pm and 4am which is a miracle. Getting so much sleep is making me feel loopy though…

Saturday. Mom can and got us early so we could attend my cousins confirmation. the Pumpkin behaved nicely and we had a really nice visit with the family. Unfortunately she got a little upset stomach which ended up all over me. I don’t know why but the barf always ends up on me. Their little toy poodle Sparky, loved the Pumpkin and would come up to her and lick her face and run off and she would crawl around looking for him. I wish I had had the video camera because it was super cute. She really does love puppies.

Sunday. We cleaned the apartment. Frank did a kick arse job on the bathroom and it feels so good to have a clean apartment. Really we haven’t cleaned in a month because we were constantly on the go. Afterwards, we went to Target and picked up a shelf for our bathroom that looks much, much better and holds more. the Pumpkin got some tights which she really needs in this cold weather. We also bought a shelf for above the bed since we’re taking down the canopy. I can’t believe how much more spacious it is in the bedroom, to the point of being disorientating. I also feel, that with so much furniture, we really need to have as much wall space showing so that it makes the painting worthwhile. When thinking about painting the walls, our tremendous wall art and general crap make me wonder if it is worthwhile. It is the main reason I haven’t painted yet. However, I am newly committed to getting rid of crap and painting so we’ll see. I also spent a great deal of time searching the candy shelves for more Peppermint Battys. Alas, the Battys are very elusive.

This morning I was tired, even with the extra sleep. I got a late start but still managed to pick up my new NYPost book, Selected Tales from Edger Allen Poe.

Oct 22, 2004 – My opinion about certian current events.

A few notable things have happened in the past few days. I’ve been too wrapped up with a new Zansite to write but I thought since I haven’t dived into coding yet, that I would take some time to write.

Often I don’t feel like I write enough about current events and too much about daily life. But it doesn’t matter since it’s primarily for me to remember when I’m old and wrinkly anyway.

Event one, the Red Socks win the American League pennant. Good for them! In lue of the Orioles who haven’t won since I moved, coincidence I think not, I am routing for the Red Socks. I watched much of the games, until I got too tired and thought they played well. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time. Frank, being a Yankee fan, was a little sad but I told him that any team, for which the pitcher plays bleeding to death deserves to win something. Unfortunately, my happiness in thier victory was shortlived and I read accounts of the riots that followed. Why would people act that way? Can’t they control themselves? There are more worthy reasons to riot than baseball. Shame on those selfish people who took a moment of triumph and turning it into a maylay of disorderly conduct and embarrasement. Boo – to the Red Socks fans who need to learn to act like mature adults.

Event two, candidate John Kerry’s wife insulted Laura Bush by saying she wasn’t aware that she had ever held a real job. She apoligized saying she forgot the first lady had been a librarian and teacher but discounted motherhood as being a real job. Bush has said motherhood is the most important job of all and said Kerry has insulted every stay at home mother. I get the feeling she looks down on Kerry for having worked instead of staying home. Kerry has raised multiple children, all but one who are now campainging with their parents. I read an article in Vanity Fair in which the kids (I know they’re older than me) came across as polite, educated, well spoken and respectful. Bush’s daughters are raving party girls who at best have made mediocre public statements and are more like to get covered in “Girls Gone Wild 9” than CNN. If I was Laura Bush, I would not be throwing any stones towards working mothers whose kids come out just fine and, for all intensive purposes, better than her own. If I was the president’s daughter, I would be volunteering and using my position to speak to the youth about important topics like drinking and driving, AIDS and education. What an amazing oppurtunity to make a difference that some can only dream about. That being said, I hope I can raise the Pumpkin to be everything the Bush girls are not.

Ok, enough ranting. Over the past few weeks The New York Post has offered inexpensive hardcover books with the Monday newspaper. I’ve taken advantage of two weeks and have gotten Frankenstein and The Jungle Book for $6 each. They are really nice books and it’s such a good deal. I am sorry I missed the previous books, especially Moby Dick, which I have but would have liked a hardcover version.

And finally I just have to rave about the magazine Everyday Food. It’s a great little magazine, full of color pictures, with easy to make recipes for real food. I can throw the magazine in my bookbag and pick out dinner on the way home, stop at the market, and create a home cooked meal without any trouble. First, I make the roasted chicken sausage and potatoes with sauted red cabbage on the side. I added apples to the red cabbage but it came out perfectly, although not quite as seasoned as I would have liked. Taking this into consideration, I added double spices when I made the Shepard’s Pie and added a little cheese to the top and it was so good. It took about an hour and a half which is rough for a week-night but the next weekend I have, I will make it again. Tonight I am torn between tomatoes and shrimp in a pan or asian styled pork thing. The recipes are easy to follow and they lay out all the ingrediants for you. It’s like cooking for dummies. They just released their November issue with easy Thanksgiving menu recipes. Mostly it felt good to know we are eating healthy and it’s cheaper that ordering it. We do order in once a week at Fuel, a healthy food place not too far.

Oh, and the Pumpkin cut her first molar. It’s the first in the upper left (from out perspective) side. Of course, teething takes it’s toll on her and she is feeling a little cranky and under the weather but nine teeth is so exciting.

P.S. – How could I forget?!?! I just found Peppermint Battys!!! I am hording them in my desk at work and will only give them to special people.

Oct 20, 2004 – Weekend Wrap-up

We had an exciting weekend. the Pumpkin had her first modeling job for BonBebe clothing. It was a nudy shot so she happily ran around the studio stark naked, which is her favorite way to be. We not only got two huge shopping bags of goodies, we’ll also get digital copies of all the pictures taken and a few 8X10s professional developed. They were very impressed with our little girl who was the model of good behavior. We were going to finish off the day with a visit to Frank’s job but his afternoon schedule wasn’t permitting.

Saturday, we recooperated and the headed out to Long Island for an anniversary party of one of Frank’s relatives. This is his father’s side, most of whom I had never met before. Everyone was really nice and we felt very welcome despite all the new faces. the Pumpkin was a real trooper and discovered how much fun it is to play with helium balloons. Towards the end of the evening, she was standing without help. Ann Marie, the lady of the house, had a walker for the Pumpkin to play with so she was on the move for a good portion of the time. She finally wore herself out and fell asleep while I was holding her.

Sunday was supposed to be a day of cleaning but it didn’t happen. Instead we went to the new Lowes in Red Hook, located convieniently by the Smith and 9 station. It’s a bad store for Frank and I to go into. We went to get radiator covers, which they didn’t have. Frank will have to build them. Instead we picked up some items for small projects we’ve been meaning to do: a new bathroom light and light switch plate, a cieling medallion for the chandelier, and a spray nozzel for the kitchen sink. I picked up paint chips. I want to paint the living area half brick red and half pumpkin pie color. Frank
doesn’t like the red but I absolutely think it will look snazzy and pull together the awkward shape of the space. The bedroom is going to be green. I am debating about which tone to give it, whether it should match the living area color or be something entirely different. I picked out carribean sea colors for the bathroom but Frank is set on either gray or brown. I may offer a compromise to get the red in the living room.

Frank has been accepted into the BMW STEP program, which is an accelerated program for BWM mechanics to become master mechanics in less than half the normal required time. It means he will be able to work at any BMW location in the world and command a higher salary. The slightly downside is that he has to commit to a two year contract with his current job. It will be a slight postponement of our moving plans but well worth the delay. The extra year will allow us to be done with our bill payments and more likely be able to afford a house.

Oct 11, 2004 – It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. A brief synopsis.

Rarely do you find that a popular phrase of classic literature applies to your life, but this indeed sums it up. Thank you Charles Dickens. I don’t think Dickens could have imagined a weekend like this.

We got underway at about 8 p.m., only a half hour later than we planned. the Pumpkin fell asleep relatively quickly as planned. We headed to Queens to drop off Danielle, who would be stopping in during the weekend to feed the animals. Aside from a little traffic, and a pit stop at Arby’s we were on our way by 9. Things went smoothly until we got to Boston. I don’t remember a sign but we found ourselves somehow driving in circles in downtown Boston. I have no idea who laid out their roads but they should be given a civil engineering summons. For some reason every road we tried to take was closed. When we did find an open road, there was traffic due to an accident, complete with dead body. At this point, we call the hotel. I had previously called to confirm the reservation and to let them know a crib would be dropped off Friday afternoon and we would arrive late Friday night, on Thursday. The last thing I expected to here the concierge say, in reply to my request for directions, was that there was no longer a room available for us. After telling him that it was unacceptable that we not have a room, I asked him for alternatives. He started to offer excuses and I was like nope buddy, I don’t want to hear it. It’s 1:30 am, I have a baby in the car and I need a hotel room pronto! No help.

Right about this time we realize we need gas. We got off the I-93 and tried to find gas but everything in Boston is closed. I then call my mother, wake her up, and tell her what happened. She starts flipping and I tell her to calm down because really we need a game plan. I ask if she can see if any area hotels near her have vacancy (ask her concierge to call) and to call back. Finally, 10 minutes along, we see a lone gas station. Much rejoicing. Across the street is a police precinct. After we get gas I tell Frank, who is seething with anger, to take a breather, stretch his legs and have a smoke while I go ask the police for help.

I walk into the police station and I can tell they are not sure what to make of me. It’s ok. I can deal. I explain that we need to know a) how to get back to the main road going north, and b) where a nice, clean hotel is because we have a baby. I have to hold my giggles back because they all talked with an extremely heavy accent and I had never heard one in person before. But they were very helpful. Following their directions, we got back on the road and soon came across the hotel they mentioned. Across the street was a Comfort Inn so we opted for that instead. All they had was a smoking room, horray for Frank, which we took. I can’t smell anyway so it doesn’t matter. But they don’t have a crib and with our crib in Danvers, 30 mins away, we are stuck. We tried to sleep with the Pumpkin between us but she, having slept the entire trip, thought it was time to play. So we baby proofed the area between the beds and created a psuedo crib area. I must say, hotel rooms are fairly baby proof. By 3:30 we were sleeping soundly.

At 7:30 I’m up with the Pumpkin. We decided to let Frank sleep and check out the free breakfast. I load up with oatmeal packets, mini-cereal boxes and a few muffins and head back to the room. I wake up Frank because we want to get going before it gets too late. Sometime while I was getting ready, Frank discovered that he had forgot to pack his dress shirt. Fortunately, Mom is located next to a mall, so we are saved. We hurry up and get ready so we have plenty of time to go shopping before the wedding.

The mall next to Mom’s hotel is very nice. They have a Kohls where Frank finds a dress shirt and a nice jacket for $30. We buy the shirt and head to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. After we eat, we realize we have plenty of time so we check out the rest of the mall. I bought the Pumpkin a cute Cheongsam dress and myself a cotton robe – finally! I’ve wanted one for a while. I also get new shoes because sometimes you just need something pretty and it had been a really rough weekend so far. From there, we headed to Mom’s hotel room where Frank took and nap and the Pumpkin and I freshened up. I would have liked her to take a nap but she didn’t.

We followed Mom and John to the wedding location, this beautiful waterfront park. Getting into the parking lot was tricky and Frank and I are, by this time, tired of driving in circles. Once we park, we are happy to get out of the car. As were walking to the location, the bride, her parents and my sister (maid of honor) were driving by in a horse drawn carriage. The location was just stunning. It was a garden and lawn, sunken with a stone border. At the front, were terreced levels and at the top was a dome covered area where the cellist and harp player, provided the music. The program was entirely custom, with very touching choices for readings. The entire ceremony was better that many I’ve seen in film. The bride, practically a sister to me and mine, looked so beautiful. Her dress, an Olag Cassini, was both creative and tasteful. the Pumpkin, thankfully slept through the entire thing. We hug out as a group in the park for a little while since the reception didn’t start until 4. Frank and the Pumpkin explored the waterfront. Unfortunately we left our camera in the car.

The reception was held in a historic home, now used by a local college. The layout and decor reminded me a little of the game Clue. I tried to take pictures but the Pumpkin is a handful if she hasn’t napped. We had a little dancing and the food was excellent and very comforting since we had been eating fast food for 24 hours prior. Unable to decide, everyone got both the turkey and pork. She wanted something like Thanksgiving. The cranberry sauce was spicy which was unique but very good. I actually tasted the food even though my sinuses were still blocked. My only complaint was that the band, although decent, was too loud. I think they didn’t realize the accoustics of the room. Aside from that, it was the best wedding I’ve ever been to. Elegant and tasteful and really unique. The table place cards were actually little pumpkins with people’s names on them. the Pumpkin got her own little pumpkin. Favors were special newspaper-like sheets with personal details about the couple as well as caramel, candy apples. The centerpieces were arrangements of Gerberra’s in a pumpkin shell.

Sometime during the reception, I found Frank playing pool with Kelvin, who also happened to be an usher. It was nice that the reception location had rooms where people could go for a little quiet. the Pumpkin had been fussing but was easily entertained by the billiard balls.

All was said and done at around 9 p.m. Without a place to sleep, Mom volunteered her room’s extra bed. Frank and I felt horrible for crashing, but Mom and John took it in stride. The Marriot provided us with a crib for the Pumpkin at no extra charge and by 11, we were all snoozing away. the Pumpkin only woke up twice. At 7:30, we decided to let everyone sleep (Mom and John had gone out after we went to sleep) and we went to check out the buffet breakfast. I had two problems. One, I forgot my free breakfast voucher, and two, my sneakers were in the car. So in socks, we went to the car, got sneakers and headed back to the hotel for breakfast. I didn’t get my breakfast voucher until later, after I had already paid, but the breakfast was good anyway. the Pumpkin ate oatmeal, yogurt and a banana. It was just the relaxing morning I needed. By the time we got back to the room, Mom and John were getting ready. Frank snoozed until they were almost done.

After breakfast for Mom, John and Frank, we headed to Salem to check out the Pirate museum, but not before stopping at the stupid Motel 6 for the crib. Frank and I missed the turn and had to drive 5 miles in the wrong direction before making a u-turn. More aggrevation we blamed on Motel 6. The manager wasn’t there for me to yell at and I don’t yell at underlings but the concierge on duty was able to get us a free night’s stay at any Motel 6 in the next year. I might check out what they have in New Orleans and really make it count. After 15 minutes we were on our way to Salem. The closer we got, the more we liked it. We were lucky to find a parking spot in a garage. From our spot on the roof, we could see all the rooftops in Salem. Such a difference from Brooklyn, were we see many more buildings above the trees.

On our feet and walking to the Pirate Museum to meet with Kelvin for a tour, we soaked in the local flavor. Frank and I are in love with this town. The Pirate museum was really neat. Frank took lots of pictures. I was enjoying it until the Pumpkin started to fuss. We made a quick retreat, drank some apple juice, and ran through to meet up with the tour. After the museum, we walked around to find a cafe where the Pumpkin made a mess with her spinach lasanga. I fed her little grape bits which she liked. I was hoping for more sleep but she was too overstimulated. We walked around, checking out the wharf and docks. I made a point to see the famous Custom House. Frank stopped in the West India drygoods store. He was so excited to know that pirates really did walk the streets and probably stay in the houses. One after another, we drooled over and along our journey, we found an open house.

It was perfect! Built in 1830, it was semi-attached and fully restored and renovated. The rooms were not terribly bigger than what we have now but it had a dining room and fireplaces in the living room and two of the bedrooms. The staircases were very narrow and the bathroom had both a toilet and shower and an adjoining sink area. Aside from the price, it was perfect. It’s the first time Frank and I have gone on a house tour so it was fun to wonder what if.

We walked around a bit more. Things were really too crowded to window shop much. the Pumpkin’s stroller was too big to get into the stores in most cases. Of all the times to not pack the backpack.

We headed home around 6. Aside from taking the long way, after getting a little lost, again!, the return trip was uneventful and we got home around 10:30. All in all, there was more good than bad and we are excited about planning our move.

Oct 8, 2004 – Happy wedding weekend! Salem, MA. here we come.

I should be working. I have a project I need to work on. But I don’t feel like it. I am not rushing because I just got my bonus and it is not what I would have liked. And then it was taxed like 50%. No incentive to rush here. Must write journal entry first. I need to organize my thoughts into a stream of to-do so that I can face this busy evening without going into spontaneous overdrive-related shutdown.

I was going to get a haircut but I’m not going to. I am going to wake up early and dye my hair before we have to leave for the wedding. This means I have to remember to pack the SaranWrap(TM) in the suitcase. Why? Well, Saran wrap creates heat with makes the dye work better and it also keeps drips at bay. Thank you to Frank for this wonderful idea. Instead of the haircut, I am just going to run home and get the pumpkin. I was going to leave early but I took a little longer than expected when I went out to get tissues this morning and then again when I went to Hallmark to get wrapping for the present. I have to pick up Frank’s drycleaning after I get the Pumpkin from daycare. Once home, I have to wrap the present before we leave so in getting ready and getting things tied up at home with the kitties and Danielle, who is going to feed the critters, I have no time to get a haircut. Thank God for the way Garnier Fructis smoothing milk masks snaggly ends. If I poof up my bangs a little, I might be able to actually see. I have to give the Pumpkin her Yogurt and cookies.

Then we have to eat something. Probably fast food at this point, once we get on the road. the Pumpkin will fall asleep because it is her bedtime and she always naps well in the car. Frank and I are really at our most happy in long relaxing car trips. Occationally, I even get to drive. Even though it is dark, we should have a nice trip. Hopefully, we’ll get to Danvers, Massachusettes sometime around midnight. Frank has to be careful. My mom called me to say that John already got a speeding ticket today on the Mass turnpike/highway thingy. I told her it was because they thought he was a leafer (Family Guy reference) and they hate leafers. They are not buying any souveniers from Boston to retaliate.

Saturday is the wedding. I misplaced the invitation so I have no idea when it is occuring. Pending on the time, I will either have nice orange hair, or my current rusty blonde shade – both are ok. At least my outfit fits. I was worried but it worked out ok in the test wearing last night. We packed an iron.

Sunday I want to sleep in, swim in the indoor pool at the hotel, and take our time getting home. Hopefully the kitties will have been good for Danielle.

Oct 7, 2004 – Mission accomplished and the cutest halloween costume ever!

It was a very busy night. I picked up the Pumpkin and we headed to the Atlantic mall to check out Burlington Coat Factory’s Baby Depot to find a nice special occasion dress for the wedding. Fortunately a bus was there and waiting. After a quick ride, we arrived at the mall before 7 p.m. which made us right on schedule for getting the dress and getting home before bedtime.

I was walking to the Depot, looking forward to some food (pizza hut in Tar-jeh) since I was really feeling like I should eat. Note that this wasn’t feeling hungry but rather feeling like one brownie is not enough food for twelve hours. Anyway, on the way I spotted a Children’s place. JACKPOT!!! Oh happy day of shopping. I was able to get not only a cute dress for the Pumpkin but some other things as well, all from the same store and within 45 minutes.

Now, for the details, because I really did find the cutest things. First the dress. the Pumpkin will be wearing a stretch black velvet dress with a green velvet ribbon sash around the waistband. There are three ribbon flowers along the front waistband. It comes with coordinating bloomers and a headband with matching flowers on it. Because it is stretchy, it’ll work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas so I am overjoyed. Plus, it was very thrifty, considering the use we will get out of it. Nearby they had little patened leather mary-janes and black tights. Not only will the Pumpkin be cute, but she will be uber-goth baby and still look like a girl.

There were lots of tempting things. I limited myself to three long-sleeved body-suits so that she can wear her jumpers into the winter and not freeze. These came in black too, but I got a pink and a white one as well for variety. Then they had matching knit separates. I got her a little mock-turtleneck in black glitter fabric with plain black leggings. I put her in that this morning. It’s her first all black outfit – a milestone of sorts and the glitter is girly which all-black needs on her since she still hasn’t much hair.

Then, the piece de la resistance! It was hanging on the wall. A vision in black and orange. I almost said no. It was a little expensive. But then I tried it on her. It was all over after that. We have accomplished halloween costume. I was dead-set against something cheesy. So many halloween costumes are cheesy. Not this one. It’s made out of the softest fleece, orange with a black stripe around the middle. Attached is a fluffy tulle skirt, in orange. It’s a nice orange, more like the fruit than a traffic cone. The body is lined with stretchy cotton and snaps underneath. It fits on like overalls with velcro fastners on the shoulders. Attached to the back, with an ingenious velcro strap are fuzzy fleece butterfly wings! On one side, the wings are black. On the other, they are orange with appliqued shapes. The wings are almost the same size as she is, which is awesome. They velcro in such a way to remain open all the time and can be removed quickly. I have never seen anything so cute and it’s not cheesy at all. She looks like a little fairy but a black and orange one – not pink. A picture can be seen at the Children’s Place website in their Halloween section under baby girls.

Now, they did have bat costumes, but they weren’t as cute. If they made a bat costume, with fleece wings, like the butterfly costume, I would have gotten that instead since the Pumpkin is our little bat baby. But the butterfly costume is really just as good and nice and warm for going out on a cool evening. We’re now all set for the Cobble Hill Halloween Parade!

Oct 6, 2004 – I feel so dirty.

Ok. So today I am not in the best mood. I’m tired and my congestion is so bad that I can’t breathe through my nose at all. Breathing through your mouth makes you sound like Darth Vadar or some sort of midnight, pervert prank phone-caller. Eating, well, forget about that. I can’t smell, even when I can breathe, which means I have no appetite. I don’t even know when I’m hungry so I don’t eat. Then, after I make bizaar comments at the staff meeting, I realize perhaps I am hungry because I have stopped making logical sense. I swear, unless my task is uber focused, I can’t manage it at all. When I do eat, I have to do so with my mouth open, which is so nasty and swallowing produces an accute and irritating vacumme pressure in my ears which I have to pop which is uncomfortable. I’ve managed to avoid food mostly, which helps. I also have surrounded myself with Puffs Plus(TM). I love Puffs Plus(TM). The irritated skin around my nose is thanking me and at least I don’t look like Rudolph (the raindeer not Guilliani) However, when I blow, I get a nasty headrush and it feels like someone put a vice and twisted hard at my temples. I’d rather bang my head against a hard surface repeatedly. All this, and no chance for much sleep tonight, is making me feel completely at odds with myself today. But, despite this, I do not feel dirty.

No. What has made me feel dirty is that I, with permission, borrowed the graphic artist’s binder of stock art in order to make copies for myself. I didn’t break any rules and he is out of the office so I didn’t even have to disturb his work. Plus I put everything back in the same order I found it. I was maniacally careful. Still, I feel like I have committed a crime. I couldn’t wait to be done with the copies since my heart was racing the entire time. Why is it that I have to pirate second-hand stock art? Why, when so many people see my work (140,000 a month), do I not have a art budget of my own? These are mysteries I do not know the answer to but it makes me feel unloved. Maybe it’s the lack of food?

I am annoyed and frusterated. But for unlimited sick days, which I might need soon, I can deal.

Oct 6, 2004 – This sheds a little light on the subject.

I’ve always preferred to vote the issues, not via party or candidate. This website was on another’s blog – According to it, I agree with 84% Kerry and 13% Bush. Since those are my only two choices, I know for whom I am voting. Not that I would have ever voted for Bush, EVER!!! What surprises me is that I am 84% Kerry. I would prefer someone, with whom I am at least 90%. If Kerry does an 84% decent job, then I should be pleased, right? Grumble…

Politics is so annoying. I should be interested, being a semi-intellectual and educated person, but I find myself frusterated and annoyed and wondering if I shouldn’t just move to somewhere where they run the country more like I would, if I was in charge.

I find myself thinking evil thoughts about the government and this country on a regular basis. I will combate this today by feeding into the capitalist shopping culture and buy the Pumpkin a new dress for the wedding we’re going to on Saturday, in Salem – Yippee!!! I had thought that I would never shop again, given the shopping overkill that occured in Floreeda, but she hasn’t anything to wear that is remotely wedding worthy. Plus she needs shoes. She only has sneakers and they are looking pretty ratty. I figure this outfit can work for Thanksgiving and Christmas too, making it budget savvy. (Note to self – no white) I have a back-up outfit as well, just in case of food mess. Frank is wearing his black pinstripe blazer, a find at Canal Jeans for cheap and I am wearing my black charmuse, with the rose embroidery which may have been intended as a neglige but works out to be a very nice dress if paired with a slip. I am even going to break out the very cute 50s style platform shoes that I haven’t seen since before I got pregnant. I may splurge on interesting tights. In any case, it is more fun to think about what to have the Pumpkin wear.

Oct 5, 2004 – Give your Mom a big hug today.

My co-worker just returned, which is awesome because I really hated doing her work. Not because I don’t like her – she’s great but the work involves typing things in and I can’t type. Originally she was slated to take time for her honeymoon since she was supposed to get married on the 26th. Unfortunately, her Mom lost her battle with cancer and died last week. I can’t even imagine what it must feel like. If I lost my Mom, I would fall apart. My mom still takes care of us and I talk to her almost every day. She paid for the Pumpkin’s daycare and really, without her, there would have been no the Pumpkin. Actually, my Mom and sister and I are very close.

That being said, I feel the urge to add something a little lighter. I have this feeling that we will stay in our place for at least a year. I can’t stand my white walls any longer. I’ve had white walls my entire life, just about, and I’m ready to move on. I also want to purge so much crap it’s not even funny but having a stoop sale when you’re six flights up is a real logistical nightmare. I need those professionals from Clean Sweep, who come with the yardsale gear, but they make you throw away things you like, which worries me. I can just see them making us sell away our limited edition Jack and Sally dolls for five bucks.

My ideas are this, even though I will probably never get around to it. In the living room I want to paint the wall behind the TV, my Roland, and around the doorway a nice warm maroon color. The far wall, the one behind the IVAR, and the smaller walls around the linen closet and the kitchen doorway, I want to paint a nice spicy pumpkin. I would like to paint the molding and trim black or a rich chocolatey brown. Very Autumn but it’s my favorite season so there. In the bedroom, I’d like to use Van Gogh’s Starry Night as a palette and paint in shades of blue. I want to paint the Pumpkin’s crib as well. Frank is on this pirate kick and seeing as it’s the smallest room, and therefore the least damaging, I’ve let him commondere the bathroom. So far we have a jolly roger shower curtian (pictures are on zansite-ny) and a pirate rubber ducky. I am going to make a pirate map to hang on the wall, which I’ve said I’ll do for the last six months. Now, none of this will probably happen since we have so much crap to move around and the Pumpkin is really getting into everything. But it’s nice to do some wishful decorating. At least my kitchen has personality, even if the floor is coming up – grrr.

Oct 4, 2004 – I’m sick.

Thursday, the Pumpkin spent the entire day barfing at daycare. Worried about dehydration, I called the nurse. She said if the Pumpkin cried without tears and had a dry mouth, I should take her to the emergency room, which I did at around 11. Fortunately, we were in and out in about three hours, which is a miracle for LICH. I took Friday off and made sure the Pumpkin got plenty of rest and drank a lot of water.

Saturday I started to get the sniffles and the Pumpkin developed a cough but no barfing. Her cough hasn’t worsened but my sniffles are now a full blown sinus infection. And I’m at work because I’ve missed too much already. I can’t wait until I wean the Pumpkin and can take something for the pressure. I too tired to work – and the pressure is so distracting.

Today, besides trying to get some work done, I’m going to post some of our Floreeda photos.

Sept 30, 2004 – Tales of hurricane Jeanne, or it came, it rained, it left a huge mess.

Work is insane. I missed two additional days and without my workmate, things are completely backed up and I have to do her job and mine. So this is a short, abridged version of my very-long weekend. Since we were without electricity, the days sort of blended anyway.

I stayed up really late to complete packing Thursday night but it was worth it to have everything in order. Miraculously, I got everything into one big suitcase. We got going at about 6 am for our 8:30 am flight on jetBlue. Our neighborhood is so quiet at that time. We made it to JFK with time to spare. JetBlue has a little playground in the terminal that the Pumpkin and I checked out while Frank drank his morning coffee.

The flight went well. the Pumpkin ate breakfast and napped. I watched HGTV – ahhhh. I hate flying but my experiences with jetBlue have been excellent. We got to Florida where my grandmother was waiting for us. After a small fight with the carseat, we drove home.

My grandparent’s house never changes. It’s comforting and homey. We always stay in the front room on the king-sized bed which fits the three of us nicely. Although I put the Pumpkin to sleep in the crib, I inevitably would end up falling asleep while I nursed her lying down on the bed and would wake up to her pouncing on me and Frank alternately. Her smiling face despite everything made me exquisitely happy. They had a playpen, high-chair and crib all set up. We relaxed, took a swim and watched news about the coming hurricane.

This is where I lose track of days. After the initial settling in and swim I’m not sure how things unraveled but before the hurricane we did two things. One, we went to Ybor City. I love this area which is like Burbon Street in NOLA, or so Frank says. Frank, the Pumpkin and I ate really tasty food at The Green Iguana where the Pumpkin was completely entertained by the live singer, who was decent dispite his hootieandtheblowfish style ballads setlist, and the busy, lizard-centric, decor. We were able to check out a few stores, one of which is my favorite vintage clothing store La France, before the rain started to come down. My grandmother had make Konigsberger Klopps (meatballs), which Frank calls Kur-nih-ka-plops, but we were still full from lunch.

The next event was a trip to Target, not sure of the day, where we took some cute pictures of the Pumpkin modeling bunny ears and a photo we hope will make the Maxim’s found porn segment. Target is like Starbucks – they’re the same no matter where ever you go which is comforting, in a way. We bought the Pumpkin some nice fall clothing and a Baby Einstein DVD. When we went to go play it, the electricity went out. From then on we watched as the rain and wind became progressively more intense. We closed the evening playing cards listening to the storm. It is beyond creepy to hear storming and not be able to see anything.

It rained entirely on Sunday, I think. Frank and I took a nice walk in the neighborhood during a lull in the weather. By this time, there were trees uprooted and many grapefruits lurking about.

Monday, we rescheduled our flight and made appropriate phone calls. We drove to Burger King for breafast. Fast food is repulsive but when it’s the only thing, it becomes more tasty. And we needed our energy because we spent the rest of the day cleaning up the debris from the yard and roof. We went out again to get lunch from Boston Market. Amazing how all the fast food restaurants had power, although most were from generators. Monday evening Frank and I went go-kart racing. We also took in a round of mini-golf. The course is so beautiful with fountians and waterfalls. They even had a few holes set up in caves. I prefer this natural type setting to the windmills and kitch type mini-golf. Unfortunately the ants were relentless. We got seafood snacks at Red Lobster on the way home.

Tuesday, Frank got the grill working and was able to warm up the meatballs. He also was able to warm up water for the Pumpkin’s bath. We decided to escape to the mall for some fresh air. We weren’t there for long, but enough to find a Hot Topic in which they always play decent music. There was also a kids clothing store that had the cutest things. We hung out until they closed the mall, which wasn’t that long. By the time we got back the power had returned.

Wednesday we packed, got one more swim in and did laundry. My grandmother dropped us off at the airport. I had to change the Pumpkin on the plane before take-off. JetBlue has a really nice changing shelf on the plane. the Pumpkin was a lot more fussy so we gave her apple juice. Unfortunately apple juice, babies and take-off don’t mix and she threw up on me. It was so nasty, I just had to laugh. Fortunately it wasn’t much worse than had the juice spilled directly from the bottle. She eventually calmed down and slept and Frank and I had a peaceful trip.

Getting home was uneventful. The kitties were so happy to see us. Things were a little amuck in our unexpected absence.

Sept 23, 2004 – Looking forward to our trip this weekend.

So tomorrow is the day. Our agenda tonight and tomorrow morning is full. Frank is going to pick up the Pumpkin while I head over to BuyBuyBaby to pick up the Pumpkin’s air-travel vest. Then I’m walking over to PetCo where I’m going to pick-up a filter replacement for Clutch’s tank. We’re ordering take-out tonight so I don’t have to do extra dishes. Fortunately we packed last night and I paid bills so that’s all done. Everything fit in one suitcase, so far, so we’re in good shape. Anything else should fit into a smaller carry-on and our backpacks which we’ll pack tomorrow morning. Then just a quick clean up and we’re ready to go!

I’m looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my grandparents. Tomorrow is my grandfather’s birthday so our visit has great timing. One evening, we’re going to celebrate our anniversary by going out to see a movie and have dinner.

This morning, I went to my old cubical. Then I remembered I moved. I don’t particularily like my new space. It’s noisy. I have much less tacky wall space for the Pumpkin pictures. People are so loud when they walk by. It’s really annoying. I am definitely going to have to wear earphones to bargle (drown out) the noise. At least I’ll be going to my weekend early.

Sept 22, 2004 – I was hating my website so…

That’s right. A new zansite. I just get so restless and the old one was bothering me. One day I am going to make one that I can actually live with.

Can’t write too much because today is the day I move into my new cubical since my new boss is moving into his office and I take his cube. I won’t have the same type of privacy since it’s impossible for my monitor not to be seen from passers-by. It’s going to make doing zansite and other websites a little difficult.

Frank and I are starting to pack for our trip tonight. We don’t want to wait until the last minute because we need to be rested and relaxed for our first family plane trip. We expect the Pumpkin to completely flip out.

I did want to mention today’s peeve. One, smokers who exhale on you as you walk by with your baby. What is their issue? Can you get more inconsiderate and rude? I don’t think so. Then, this morning a commuting fanner sat next to me. There was no a/c in our car, and really it’s cool so it wasn’t a big deal but this chick decided she has to get out her folding fan and start fanning herself. This might not be too bad except we were fairly sqwished together so I was getting fanned too and her perfume was really overbearing. The fanning was drying out my eyeballs and making my eyes itch. I can’t itch my eyes because it will mess up my eyeliner so I was getting really irritated. People should keep their fanning to themselves. Also, people need to be aware of their smell. Stinky goes for those bath in their perfume/cologne as well as those who refuse to bathe near-daily. Yuck! To make matters worse, I do not have a commuting project or book so I was left with
bowling on my cellphone, which is fun but not for 40 minutes.

Sept 20, 2004 – Finally, a productive weekend.

Visiting the aunt – mission accomplished. Doing laundry – mission accomplished. Organizing closet – mission accomplished. Visit from Mom – mission accomplished. Having a really accomplished weekend… priceless! And now the details:

We got an early start to our Saturday and ventured out to Port Jefferson to visit Frank’s aunt and grandmother, who had yet to see the Pumpkin. The visit went well. the Pumpkin crawled all over the place and giggled for Frank’s grandmother who was singing little songs for her. the Pumpkin loves singing. We got a lot of “she looks just like Frank!” and not less than a few comments on her good behavior. On some level I think they might have thought, given our freakish natures, that our offspring would be similarily evil, but alas, the Pumpkin is just not so. We did have a fuss since the Pumpkin hadn’t had much of a nap that day and by 3 she needed some sleep. We tried to camp her out on his grandmother’s floor since it was very plush and carpeted but she only napped for a half hour. Without a high chair, Frank’s dad had to hold her while I tried to get her to eat her chicken noodle dinner. Thankfully, she, and he, remained sort of tidy. I always ask if people are wearing machine washable
clothing because around a baby, dry clean just doesn’t work. We got home around 8. Our total travel time for the day was about 6 hours of bus, LIRR and car. By the time we got home, we were ready to collapse. A day like that is really tiring and tough on the Pumpkin but she seemed to do ok.

Sunday we cleaned house and did laundry. Mom came through with a much needed loan and watched over the sleeping the Pumpkin as we did laundry. Then Mom and I did a little food shopping. the Pumpkin was very happy to get out of the apartment for a walk.

Frank and I are loving the weather and excited that it looks like the weather will hold for our weekend trip to Florida. I can’t wait to go swimming in the pool with the Pumpkin. Fall is our favorite time of year and we’re looking forward to an eventful season.

Frank and I are going out on Saturday evening for dinner and a movie to celebrate our anniversary. It’s incredibly boring, considering our past, but it will be just the nice relaxing thing we need. the Pumpkin will stay home with her Omama and Opa for a nice visit. It’s just a short visit but we are really looking forward to a change of scenery.

Sept 17, 2004 – See you… in September.

I cleaned my desk which was really gross since I eat at my desk and there are bound to be crumbs no matter how neat you are. I dusted all my knick-knacks, of which I have too many. I used the special cleaning cloths to disinfect my phone and keyboard. I completed my task by using the compressed air to blast crumbs out of my keyboard. Now I feel all tidy. This activity was to celebrate school supply season. Yup! It’s that time of year. I feel like this is the beginning of a new year, not January. So to celebrate I clean my desk really well and reorganize all my office supplies and paper work. Then, now this is the best part… hold on to your tape dispensers… I make a pilgrimage to Staples!!! Upon entering, I inhale the supply goodness. I can smell the pads of paper, pen ink and pencil lead. It’s wonderful. Although I am good on office supplies for the moment, I did need a new budget notebook. I also took some time to get that in order today. So I
had every intention on only buying a notebook for the budget when something caught my eye. Something colorful, something cute and something sticky!!!! Yup! There they were. Multi-colored, fun-shaped, post-it notes. I could hardly contain my ecstacy. Budget be damned! I had to have them. So I bought three packages; fuchia flowers, yellow stars, and purple arrows. When I got back to my desk, I took a few off and gave them to a workmate who understands the joy of the post-it and who would appreciate such a thing and then I made little lables for my paper clips and push-pins and what-not.

This brings me to an interesting story I read in the news the other day. Apparently, 3M is trying to develop stickier notes using molecular chemistry to make them genetically more sticky. This will be done by changing or charging the electrons in the post-its to make them more attracted to things on a moleclar level. My esteem for the post-it note has just reached an entirely new level, as if that could be possible. But there you have it.

I created PDFs out of the older pictures and of my pregnancy journal. I hope this cleans up the site a bit. Eventually I want to make all the picture albums produced that way so they download faster and can be printed out easier. Right now I am not totally crazy about the picture quality so we’ll see about moving on with it. Could just be the older pictures are crappy from having been scanned into the worst scanner in existence. We shall see.

Our weekend looks full. We are going to attempt another visit to Frank’s aunt tomorrow and on Sunday my mom is coming over to our place. I hope to take advantage of the time the Pumpkin is occupied, and clean out my closet and do laundry.

Sept 16, 2004 – Survey says…

I’ve been busy at work. Today, I’m staying late just to tie up things because I had a dentist appointment yesterday and took an extra long lunch. These past two days I’ve be redesigning a small website we have here. I love the way it came out and hopefully it’ll get approved. It’s a gateway to the bigger ideas I have for the monster site.

No real news. We’re trying to get everything ready for Florida. I think I will have to go down with dirty laundry since we’re leaving early Friday morning. But this is a luxury we can have because we’re visiting family. Since it’ll be our 5th anniversary that Saturday, we’ve decided that we might leave the Pumpkin with my grandmother and take in a movie, Sky Captian hor-rah!, and dinner.

I’m looking forward to payday tomorrow and what hopefully will be the last time we have to worry about money, in a desparate way. Plus, I can restart my budget tracking which makes me purr.

Sept 14, 2004 – I made a packing list for Florida because I am a geek.

It’s been a while so I’ll have to paraphrase. The weekend was a wash. By Friday evening I felt just awful so Saturday I just stayed home. I had to reschedule everything I had planned. Frank did help clean up the apt so we had some accomplishment. Frank went out Saturday night and didn’t come home until 5 am so that made my Sunday pretty wasted too. Keeping the Pumpkin quiet when he’s trying to sleep in late is a full time job so I’d rather he come home a little earlier. After a nap, I took the Pumpkin out to the super market to pick up dinner items. Our friends Sara and Nick came over for an enjoyable dinner, saving the weekend from complete crappiness. Sara is an artist and a teacher who has really great advice about children and will probably make the greast mom ever. I also watched Calendar Girls, a touching story about nudy British women raising money for a hospital in their county. I would have thought it was a well done imitation of the Full Monty, which I loved,
except that this was based on real events. the Pumpkin said “dada” but only does it when Frank is walking away from her.

Yesterday, after having had a rough night of little sleep, was just too hectic to make an entry. All the publications we make available online at work all seem to come to me at the same time. Today is much better.

I’ve gotten quite a bit done today. I called Jet Blue to confirm what we need to do to prepare to take the Pumpkin to Florida. Good thing I called since they didn’t have her on the plane. Then I did some research on what we need to pack and then made a list. Everything needs to fit into two suitcases since we have to carry everything on the subway. We are not paying 35$ for a stupid cab. Frank and I could probably get away with a backpack but the Pumpkin needs her toys, and a carseat. Once again, the Kelty carrier is really going to save the day. Our flight leaves at 8:30 so the morning should be quite an adventure. Fortunately, the Pumpkin is a morning baby.

the Pumpkin still isn’t sleeping so after some more research, I have devised a new plan of getting her to sleep. It involves no tv in the evening and a nice relaxed atmosphere. Frank promised me a week of trying the new technique out so we’ll see. When he was working nights, I had good luck with her so we’ll see if it works again. I think it will no matter how skeptical he is.

Sept 10, 2004 – An early start to the weekend.

I apologize for typos upfront. I do not feel well.

I am so glad it’s Friday. I leave work in about 20 minutes to go to the bank, get the rent, drop off the rent, pick up the Pumpkin, take her to the doctor. I should be back on my way home by 5:00. Then Frank can take over because I am sick. It’s either freezing my cube or I have a chill. Actually I feel a breeze – stupid air conditioning.

I am really looking forward to this appointment because I’ve been waiting to feed her meat until now. I want to make sure it’s ok. Not like it’s stunting her growth because she is so big. Maybe this weekend we’ll try chicken!

We had a breakthrough last night. the Pumpkin looked at me and said “Mama”! She wouldn’t do it again though so we’re not sure. She usually goes MaaaahMaaaaahh when she wants some hugs or to be picked up. It’s like her distress call. This time she was smiling so we think it’s a first word. She’s also differentiating between bottle and sippy cup at daycare and knows which are hers and won’t touch any others. She definitely has a personality and seems to be strong willed. Trying to change her sometimes requires some creative manuevering. I’ve started to employ the bed since the changing table is so small. And she is fighting us on the food issue and wants to feed herself. I have no idea how to go about this so I can’t wait to ask the doctor.

We had a decent night last night. She woke up only twice and Frank and I got some much needed sleep since he’s sick as well. Tomorrow we have a busy day, including a trip to Atlantic Mall, and maybe the Museum of Natural History and then Lam’s house for dinner. We might cut off the museum if we still feel sick. The frog exhibit should be there for a while longer. Sunday we aren’t doing anything which sounds wonderful. Perhaps we will baby proof a little bit. She is getting into more and more everyday. Reminds me that I have to move my sewing machine which is a disaster waiting to happen. I think it needs a home in my closet.

Sept 8, 2004 – It’s a good day for big boots.

We had another long night. the Pumpkin is teething like crazy. Her poor little nose is chapped from all the running it does. She is forever moist. Hopefully this will end soon because we’re all in need of relief and rest. We were both up for good by 5. Frank got a blessed extra hour of sleep but woke feeling sick. No sooner did he mention said sicky feeling that I also noticed a little glandular tightning. Ack!!! By the time I got to work, I definitely felt crappy and feel a viril infection coming on. At least I caught it in time to twart any major issues. Frank will get DayQuill for tomorrow and I will cope knowing how more important breastfeeding is than my personal comfort.

I knew the rain was coming so I wore my favorite knee-high Docs today. I also wore clothing that would dry quickly if need be. I was going to take the Pumpkin to daycare in her stroller since it has a plastic bubble but Frank called and said the streets were flooded so I used the Kelty. He was rather cross that I had left the huge umbrella at daycare and he couldn’t use it. But with the Pumpkin, I need the big umbrella to cover us both so he wouldn’t have gotten it anyway. He left grumbling about the smaller, “cocktail” umbrella he had to use. the Pumpkin went back to sleep at 7 so I had peace and quiet while I was getting ready.

The rain was coming down so hard and my bed looked so inviting and the Pumpkin was snoring soundly. It was very hard to get going. By 8 we were on our way. Fortunately, we got a pocket of light rain and made it to daycare with minimal wetness since we too had to use the inefficient “cocktail” sized umbrella. After long good-byes, which do not get any easier with time, I went to the F train. The F stopped between Brooklyn and Manhattan for quite a length of time during which we were given the following reasons: sick passenger, broken train, signal problems, electricity out, stations closed; and given the following instructions, give seats to the elderly, ladies and pregnant ladies. Since I am a lady and there weren’t any elderly or pregnant women nearby, I continued to sit, greatly relieved that I had a seat, and read Vanity Fair (not the magazine but the book). Some time later (45 minutes or so), we got going. I wasn’t upset because once I’m going to be late, I just cope.
And there was nothing I could do stuck in that tunnel anyway. We made it as far as East Broadway where I escaped the train and decided to take my chances with a bus. The stop was right by the exit and the bus came in less than a minute. The trusty M9 took me directly to the M102 which dropped me off right in front of the deli next to my building. I didn’t realize, because the trip went so smoothly, how much time had elapsed and in the end my journey took about 3 hours. My dramatic morning was completed by the reception of the wrong breakfast sandwich, which I returned instead of just dealing with it which I think I was entitled to do considering my morning commute.

Work is fine. Nice and quiet. I posted some self portrature on the site sporting my new orange hair. I’m really too tired to do much. Tonight we return to the living room and hopefully some sort of sleep. My biggest dilema is what to cook for dinner. I hate cooking. I am not good at it, even remotely. I mean I can boil water and work creatively with prepackaged items, like pasta and do-it-yourself Thai, but I have no gift for meat preparation. I have no patience for cookbooks. If I ever win the lotto I am hiring a chef.

I love rainy days. I’m looking forward to going home, walking on clean streets as the rain has no doubt washed away all the dog shit that people just leave lying around. Besides the BQE, the dog shit is what I hate about my neighborhood. I expect more considering the property values but money doesn’t always make someone more hygenic. But such is life.

Sept 7, 2004 – A movie review and end of day breather.

It doesn’t seem like I did a lot today but it’s already after 4 and I feel like I did a whole lot. Maybe it’s because I am so tired. Anyway, I’ve uploaded lots of new photos to Zansite which I had backlogged since the home pc is sick and my flashing is further along than I had thought, so I am taking a little breather.

Being that I had a couple of evenings to myself, I rented Girl With a Pearl Earring. I had read the book since Vermeer is a favorite of mine, from back in the days of a certian purgatorial art history class I have the misfortune of taking in college, and was really looking forward to the movie. Movies like GWaPE are not the sort Frank will watch so I have to wait for him to be out of the house or sleeping or some how other occupied. And gone he was so I didn’t delay in ordering the movie from the trusty on-Demand. My first impression was that the cinematography, or whatever makes the movie look the way it does, was stunning. It really looked like a painting come to life, especially shots of Delft and the countryside. Breathtaking. Needless, but unrelated, to say, I am also looking forward to Sky Captian and the World of Tommorow. Then GWaPE got started. It was good for a little while but then seemed to get fragmented. Instead of focusing on some plot lines and
working them together, the screenwriter tried to fit all the stories into one short film. The plot hops from the relationship between Vermeer and Griet to Griet and the housekeeper to Griet and the family to Griet and the perverty patron to Griet and the butcher’s son, who she seems to go from shunning on day to screwing the other. In the book, time passes a little more naturally, which makes sense, because it is a book.

Today, as I was getting dressed and yet another shirt didn’t fit, I realize that I need to go through my closet and sort and purge. At nine months, post pregnancy, I might not get any thinner. Not that a size 8 is bad, because it’s not and there are lots of ways to hide things, but it’s not what I was, which was a size 6, and a lot of what I have doesn’t fit. It will probably take me all week but if I tackle a little at a time should be ok. My closet is crowded anyway because I have my pre-pregnancy clothes, during pregnancy clothing, and post-pregnancy, new figure clothes all squwished together. And, I just have too many clothes anyway, much due to my former shopping-whore self. Shame on me in my excess!

Sept 7, 2004 – What the shit is this?

Sorry to be profane but sometimes it’s needed. What possesses a group of people to lock a bunch of parents and kids in a gym and torture them? I don’t care how noble your cause, that’s wrong and I hope they never get what they want. I don’t even have an idea of how you’d punish people who did that but they deserve something nasty. Of course there is always a problem with retaliation. Where does it end? What is clear is that Russia is entirely unprepared to handle the Chetchnian (sorry about the spelling) terrorists. Our entire planet is going somewhere horrible and we’re going to end up in a world like one of those Mad Max movies.

On to better things. The weekend was a little disappointing. Friday, I met Danielle for very tasty Martini’s at a trendy spot on Montegue St. It was great to sit with two fellow professional, adult women. Although I try not to talk about the Pumpkin, I can’t help it. We had a nice chat about the crappy dating scene even though it’s hard since I’m hitched. But really, I suffered enough when I was dating to last a lifetime, and maybe two, and am entitled to join in since the scene hasn’t changed much. I am aggrevated that my friend, who is a great catch, hasn’t found a decent guy yet. There is no shortage of jerks available out there. I will keep hoping for her. It’s not fair that women have to choose between an education and marriage but sometimes that’s how it works out. Stupid men. (Frank is not included.)

Saturday, Frank and I tidied the apt and headed to Target to buy some necessities. There is no place better than Target to get the super mega box of diapers and two weeks worth of baby food. We didn’t hear from Kelvin due to some sort of cell phone thing so we just hung out. Our plans to visit Long Island got canned because Frank’s grandmother wasn’t feeling up to a visit. Instead, Frank went out to help our friend Roberto with some stage work for a play he’s working on. He didn’t get home until 5 am.

Since Frank got home so late, it wasted my Sunday morning since I couldn’t do much since I had to keep the Pumpkin quiet so he could sleep. Sometimes I don’t mind, but not when I have laundry and vacuuming to do. Then I get annoyed, really, really annoyed. Horray for Kelvin, coming over to fix our computer, so it wasn’t a complete loss of day. Kelvin and I just went out for pizza when Frank decided to go out to Long Island anyway. the Pumpkin and I stayed home because she needs to be sleeping by 8 and it was too late to go out there and be back in time. Kelvin continued to try to fix our computer with some luck but no real solution. I am thankful he got as much as he did. We have no idea what it is that is causing the problem but at least I can access my files and check e-mail again. Once he gave up with the stupid computer, we went out for a nice walk, got ice cream and he headed out. I finally dyed my hair. It’s orange once again.

Frank promised to be home early on Monday so we could go to Govenors Island. He wasn’t. Boy was I annoyed, especially after the previous all-nighter. But at least I didn’t have to worry about the Pumpkin making noise. And to make matters worse, he didn’t call me and let me know the outting was off so I waited around until nearly 11 before hearing from him that he wasn’t coming home anytime soon. I pondered going to the museum, just the two of us, but by 11 it’s late since that’s lunch time for the Pumpkin. And, there was no time to call and make alternative plans since it’s a holiday weekend and everyone is no doubt already where they’re going to be. After I vented a bit, I decided to salvage the day and meet Frank at Penn.

As we were walking down to the Village to get brunch, we ran into Mary, from the Contempt group. We chatted and walked together for a bit and parted ways around Madison Square Park. We continued down when we decided to give Roberto and Jenna a call. After some logistical planning we decided to meet them at the Cloister Cafe for brunch. Bravo!!! What a wonderful suggestion. Frank and I had never been there before. We ate outside, the Pumpkin friendly, under a canopy of green vines. It’s like medieval times meets Bavarian beergarten, complete with fountain, stained glass windows and a suit of armor display. I like this place greatly and it is worth noting that they do parties. Plus, it’s been forever since I’ve seen them so it was nice to have a quiet, the Pumpkin behaved well, brunch together.

One the way home, the Pumpkin did the cutest thing. We let her escape from her stroller and Frank stood her next to a pole on the subway and she held on!! All by herself! Even during the stops she kept her balance. I wish I would have taken a picture. Crap – I have to remember the camera more often. We are missing wonderful moments.

We were just going to relax when we got home but Frank locked Chloe out of the litterbox and she made a little kitty-pee in the laundry so we had to go to the laundromat. We made a nice outting of it, including italian ice consumption. So I got my laundry done afterall.

It seemed like a much longer time and aside from not getting any sleep last night, more teeth are coming, I got to work this morning very relaxed.

Sept 3, 2005 – Plip, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

Ah, the weekend aproaches. The delegates are going home. Nothing happened as I was thinking nothing would. Life is getting back to normal, but not before a nice three day weekend. Frank and I have a full agenda starting today. After I escape work, I am going to meet with Danielle, probably my oldest friend and the Pumpkin’s godmother, who is having a little happy hour goodness to celebrate her 30th birthday. No one I know looks their age and Danielle can easily pass for 25. Anyway, the Pumpkin is safely tucked away at Daycare so I can have a nice two hours of adult socialization.

Tomorrow we have a nice day planned, starting with a little apartment cleaning, laundry and a visit from Kelvin, who is going to fix our ailing computer. Depending on how that goes, we’ll probably head into the city to buy Frank some new work boots. He has been having these problems with his feet, like bunions, and needs really comfy boots to work in. If the funds are lurking, I would really like to buy some fabric with which to make some new bedroom curtians. Frank wants to go out to Long Island on Saturday night but I think we should stay home since the Pumpkin is still not sleeping through. Sunday we’re going out to visit Frank’s aunt and grandmother who haven’t met the Pumpkin yet. They live in Poquat, near Port Jefferson, which is a really nice north shore neighborhood.

Monday we want to visit Governor’s Island. There are tons of old victorian houses and buildings and it’s a nice little ferry ride. Really, we could probably swim but taking the ferry is no doubt safer. We’ve been meaning to go for some time but haven’t gotten around to it. There is some debate about what they’re going to do with the space. I vote for either a school or museum but definately public use space. It also might be nice to live there, if they build a bridge to Brooklyn, which they could do, but won’t.

Aug 31, 2004 – All worked up and no where to go…

From Niel, a collegemate:

“President Bush’s comments about the War on Terror on the TODAY SHOW on Monday, “I don’t think you can win it,” Bush told Matt Lauer. BUT THEN! He calls into Rush Limbaugh’s show today from Des Moines Iowa and told the grand cyclops “We will win it. But we can’t doubt what we stand for.””

Bravo Bush!!! Another giant leap into the insantity you’re dragging this country into. You may be brave but your bravado is directed all over the place. Focus, grasshopper, focus. You have the balls to be great and you’re stupid enough to take big risks that just might work. But you can’t prune a forest all at once. You need to clear each tree carefully or you ruin the entire forest. Tap, tap, tap. Anyone home in there? The forest is burning…

And now for my digression.

You can’t win a war on terrorism. Anyone could be a terrorist. Really. It’s easy. A million scenarios go through my head on the way to work. Any one of those nice tidy black garbage cans could hold something nasty. Any fat person could, in reality, not be fat but be packing tons of tnt. You don’t know just by looking because I know people who look like terrorists who aren’t. And vice versa. I mean I could get onto the subway from my apartment completely loaded without anyone ever batting an eye. Have you seen some of my outfits? No one in New York is phased by weirdos wearing weird clothing.

You can’t give in to ever crazy faction’s wishes because some of them really are crazy. You also can’t make everyone happy all the time. It’s impossible. Give up. It’s admission of reality not defeat. I hate the way dubba-u makes it seem like any other solution, besides his, is failure. It’s downright toxic.

My solution is this. Change what you can. Control what you can. Start at the root of the problem. We all know poverty is directly linked to crime. A wise person once said you can judge the health of a society by the treatment of its poor. It follows, improve the conditions of the poor and good things will follow. This does not mean freebies but it does mean safe and clean housing. Have you ever seen a ghetto in Canada? It’s nice. Actually by us in Brooklyn, we have some really cute, public housing, townhouses that have remained nice for the past five years. They’re about two blocks from the Atlantic Avenue subway hub and Target. I would live there in a instant, public housing or no.

Next thing. Start caring. If the president cares about his public then they will care about each other. Currently the president treats Americans, especially those in the armed forces, like disposable pawns. He doesn’t give a fig about people my age. If he said he was sorry about going to war in Iraq, that maybe it wasn’t the brightest idea and instead he’s going to devote more effort to defending home turf, the moral would increase dramatically, which brings me to my next point. Dubba-u is so keen on going out the front door, that he has quite forgotten the wide open back door. Just having police around is a good thing. Make sure the big cities have what they need. Have you ever played Risk? Then you know what happens if you don’t protect your outer territories and you thin them to go invade other places.

Never mind the economy. It’s on a direct route to disaster. Anytime you base your structure on debt things will inevitably collapse. How about encouraging people to stop spending more than they make. This would piss corporations off but honestly no one needs a new car or new tv every year. American is like one huge shopping mall. And the philosophy behind working hard is so that you can afford the finer things in life, that have to be better than your neighbor’s which sets you up to be disappointed. Commercials and media show people just so happy when they buy things. It’s a sickness.

When Frank lost his job and we were on one income. All of a sudden I couldn’t shop, meaning nothing that wasn’t food or health related. It took a little while for me to stop feeling horrible. I actually was depressed. Can you imagine? But really I was sick, sick from this disposable brand excess culture that is America. After a little while, a period of detox if you will, I started looking at things differently. I can shop but nothing is an impulse and everything has to be good quality. I buy things to last for years instead of months and think about it for a few days if it isn’t a necessity like diapers or food. If everyone looked at their property and saw what they had instead of what they don’t have, it would drastically change the country’s mentality. There are enough people in this country where companies will still have enough people to sell to and if they run out, they can export. Oooh novel concept there.

Change the focus from working for things to working for fulfillment. Work to afford more education, art classes, language or music instruction. Create a deeper life rather than a shallow but decorated one. This means culture has to be a main focus. I get the feeling that Dubba-u’s idea of culture is going muddin’ or hunting. Art, music are falling to the wayside, which is sad since now is an era where music and art are so accessable.

And finally influence people to cherish their family. Any family is good, even the kind you find along the way. That children need to feel protected and like they belong goes without saying but adults need that too. But also support new style families like gay unions. Two loving adults who take care of their kids should not be denied benefits because they happen to be same sex. An adult sister who wishes to take care of her sibling should be able to choose her if she pays for family health insurance. If you make a lot and can afford the extra insurance and you want to help out a close friend, you should be able to. Likewise, people should never have children they don’t want or can’t take care of.

As I fall off the soapbox, I realize I am guilty of so much. I watch tv like a blob when my keyboard beckons from only five feet away. I have a gift which I do not use and I’m not getting any younger. I do lust for new items I see in Lucky even though what I have works just fine. I have an incurable weakness for IKEA when my apartment has no room. I hope we can do better by the Pumpkin, and that she will learn the value of things and knowledge. It’s hard. It’s so easy to fall into a typical life of excess and desire. So easy to sit in front of your tv and vegg even though you know a life of consumption is not healthy. It’s like eating too much cake. So tasty but in the end the sugar high doesn’t last and you’re left with a huge waistband.

Aug 30, 2004 – It was fun goofing off while it lasted.

It may seem odd that I haven’t updated my site or journal in a few days. There are some reasons for this. One, I am redesigning my work website. This I love to do and it takes all my effort. I will resume such happy labor once I finish updating here. Two, my home computer is a little sick. Somehow something happened to it and it runs a program non-stop without being able to do anything else. We have no idea what program it is or how to end it. The trusted task-bar offers no enlightenment. Kelvin is going to come and help us out on Saturday hopefully. I think he is stopping by before he heads up to Vermont to visit Christine (sister).

The republicans are here. It’s so trendy to be politically charged these days and to be a democrat. I have to ask myself if I really am a democrat. Usually I am an independent which means I actually find out about the issues and then vote for the person who swears that the same issues I find important are also important to him/her. Then I hope for the best. At least I try to make an informed decision. I knew someone once who voted but randomly and for people he had no idea of what they were running for yet was so adimant about being on the right side of political thinking. A misinformed or non-informed voter is as bad and sometimes worse than someone who doesn’t vote at all. I definitely have strong views but I’m not sure where they fall on the political compass. I know that the issues I find important these days are next to ignored by the candidates and the press. I read an interesting interview with Bloomberg. I like Bloomberg. He makes sense and logical
decisions with reasoning behind them and he takes responsibility for his decisions and believes in accountability. So what if he’s rich. He’s getting paid a dollar in salary for being mayor. He raised ooodles of money for the city, when the federal administration hasn’t given us much, to cover expenses and keep jobs. I said having the convention here was good because it would bring money into the industries that have been hurting since 9/11, mainly the tourism and entertainment sector. Frank called me a republican as if it was something nasty. And honestly, I felt like he had called me a bitch or something. Then I thought why? Because I feel for the housekeeper in the hotel who has a job and benefits because her hotel has full occupancy because of the convention? Why? Because I think corporate donantions are a great way to pay for new grass in Central Park. I hate the partisan system. Why not just have people vote for the issues? I’m so and so and this is what I believe and
stand for. Either vote for me or not. At least people whould know what they’re voting for instead of blindly voting for a party name, like ooo I voted Socialist because I’m a rebel, even though I don’t know what one is and I would rather die than pay more taxes for the common good and wait and see what happens if someone tries to take away my luxuries or denies me credit!

What concerns me is that protestors are taking the cops away from more important duties like protecting our streets from terrorists. It’s not republican, it’s math. To simplify, lets say we have 10 cops. Let’s say we divide that so that 5 are doing city things and 5 are doing terrorist things. Already that 50% less to keep crime off the streets of a big city. Now let’s further divide that so that 33% are taking care of routy protesters, 33% of terrorist issues and 33% of regular city crime. I’d like to see what kind of job can get done with only 33% of resources available. A pretty crappy one. Not that I think protesting is bad. It’s not. But people need to follow the rules. Get a permit. Protest somewhere where it’s safe for you to meet with 200,000 people and respect the police. If you have to compromise about the location of your protest, don’t cry injustice when you don’t even live here and realize what havok your wrecking on the locals. If people lead by
example, this world would be a better place.

So I take stock of my own political views. I am pro-choice even though I would have a hard time having an abortion myself, especially since I had the Pumpkin. I really believe in decent public education and healthcare being nearly free. I think people trying to make something of themselves should get grants for their education. Frank should not have had to pay 100% for his school. 70 maybe 80% ok, since it’s not anyone elses fault we have debt, but not 100%. We’re really broke, have a newborn and I can’t believe we didn’t qualify. Healthcare really has to reconsider what constitutes neccessities. Blatent, not reconstructive, cosmetic surgery should never be covered by insurance. If your nose/boobys/butt works fine then insurance should not help you get a new one just because it’s trendy. Corporations are good but they should be responsibly run and give back to the environment and community. Sigh… it doesn’t matter. Both candidates have admitted that they don’t care
about my demographic because we don’t vote as a group. And I don’t think either one knows how to keep us safe or fix this foriegn policy mess we’re in. It’s depressing. Actually the entire U.S. is depressing. Canada is looking better every day. I am more of the mentality that it’s ok not to be number one as long as your happy.

I want to end on a happy note. Frank and I watched this show on the science channel and we learned that in Sweden, they are making fuel out of the methane gas released by their garbage. It’s amazing! They’re even running their cars with it. I think if a country isn’t busy being number one, they have more time to work on important things like the environment. If Sweden wasn’t so cold or far away, we’d consider going there too.

Aug 25, 2004 – The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Your children are as much a reflection on you as you are within them. I hate Bush. He doesn’t care at all about my demographic. He is a war monger that holds the flag of Christianity as if he’s on some sort of crusade. It’s downright embarrassing and I’m not the only one to feel so and it’s alarming how many people will vote for him based on his belief alone. He’s cut every human service and a great deal of humanity from this country and hasn’t done anything slightly Christian. Anyone with half a brain should not support or vote for him yet people do. It’s alarming. He is a dishonest man of the worst degree.

Today I read in the Daily News of how his daughters are living it up in the city recently. I figure this is a good indication of how safe it is here. I mean if his daughters are here, it must be ok. Makes me feel better about living and working here. Of course, I was a little… not surprised, but rather disgusted to read about how his daughters party all hours of the night, drinking and what-not. They aren’t even remotely trying to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the daughters of the leader of the free world. Their behaviour is common and base at best. It’s obvious they have no respect for their father or for the country. What sort of parent raises a child like that? How can one who cannot control his own daughters control the entire world, which the president of the US does? It’s sad. I don’t care what the Pumpkin looks like but she had better act with respect for herself and us. For the record, I don’t care much for Kerry either but with the stupid
bi-partisan system you don’t really have much of a choice. Why does Canada have to be so cold?

Anyway, on to better things. Yesterday, I stayed home with the Pumpkin since she had a fever for the third day in a row. Fortunately it broke around noon and we decided to meet up with Daddy. We got too late of a start and missed going but already dressed to go out, we decided to take a nice long walk through the neighborhood and stop by in the playground by Montegue Terrace, right near the promenade. the Pumpkin loves the swings the best. So far it’s the only thing she can do but soon we’ll have walking as well.

Upon further inspection, it seems her two front teeth have not quite broken through but almost. It’s hard to see since she shuts her mouth really tight if we try to look inside. Still it’s two more teeth which is progress.

Aug 23, 2004 – I got a spork with my lunch – BONUS! 🙂

Once in a while you just have to give in to the urge for fast food. Of course it tastes good, because it’s bad for you, really bad. And you want to eat it but you don’t because it’ll kill you as sure as cigarettes or anything else for that matter with which there is a danger of becoming a habitual user. But today I went out for lunch and brought back some Taco-Hell to my cube. I know it will probably give me heartburn later on but it’s so good in the here and now. No doubt a throw-back to my dubious days in college (ha ha I made a pun).

The weekend went well. Saturday we had a nice relaxing day. Frank went to a play in the evening and I stayed home with the Pumpkin and watched movies. Le Divorce was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I should have just rented something else but, like a bad joke, I was waiting for a punchline that never came. I followed that with Seabiscit which was much better althought I felt they kept trying to force a bigger picture on you. They should have just told a good horse story, which is was, instead of saying what a momentous thing to the era Seabiscit was. I understand clearly that it is a story of an underdog horse and rider and how several people find happiness with each other. I didn’t need commentary to hit me over the head with it. One out of two isn’t bad and at least they were free.

Sunday Frank went to his last day of work and the Pumpkin and I had a nice relaxing morning. My sister picked us up later that afternoon for a BBQ at Mom’s friend John’s house. He has the nicest place in Middle Village. I love neighborhoods where all the houses are neat and tidy. the Pumpkin enjoyed the extra space in which she crawled around. There was also an incident with an empty Corona beer bottle. Sometimes I wonder what people passing by would make of a baby playing with a beer bottle, but she was well supervised and very entertained by it’s smooth coldness and interior lime slice. We celebrated Frank’s new job and a visit from my sister with Mom, John, my uncle and aunt, Mom’s old workmate Michael and my sister’s ex-boyfriend Chris, who we’re all very happy to have hanging around again. John made us all waffles and ice cream for dessert which was absolutely wonderful. We discussed the variety of waffle irons including the very snazzy Hello Kitty waffle iron. He has a
wonderful cookbook specilizing in waffles. Anyone who understands the goodness of waffles is very cool indeed.

the Pumpkin didn’t sleep well, but it’s because she cut three, possibly four, new teeth.

This morning was rough. Having gotten no sleep, we’re all tired. the Pumpkin was cranky when I dropped her off. Not screaming or anything but just exhausted and not smiling. I was going to take the day off so we could just hang out at home and rest but I have work to do. I stressed to daycare that she is tired from getting those teeth out and to try to get her to sleep as much as possible. Hopefully they have good luck. Before we go home this evening, we have to go food shopping and get baby items like diapers so it won’t be very relaxing but we will be together which is good.

Frank is settling in to his new job. He loves it. No angry Russians yelling at him, no three bosses all telling him to do something different at the same time and he’s already gotten to ride around in his dream car (M3). Knowing how happy he is is making the huge debt we’re getting ourselves into worth it. I can’t believe how much tools cost and even after $1,600 he needs more. At least I don’t have a lingering student loan lurking about. I just worry that we are in over our heads but I can always stay on here full time and the Pumpkin’s daycare is going to be cheaper. Next year’s tax return should help dig us out.

I really hate money. My only stress is money and the lack there of it. Frank is a wonderful husband, so supportive and he has followed through with getting his career going and moving beyond many demons. We’ve overcome so many obstacles in our relationship and really we’re on the edge of a comfortable plateau. He deserves this job and tools. And the debt is only temporary. We’re certainly not the only ones our age to find ourselves in so much debt. In two years we’ll be done with our debt management program and have $350 more a month to play with. Right about when we’ll have to get a bigger place so that the Pumpkin can have her own room. Things will work out.

I am kind of losing steam. I’ve been carrying us for almost three years. For the first year and a half Frank didn’t show much initiative and the weight of supporting us was on me. When he went to school, things weren’t much better but hopeful. Then we had the Pumpkin which worked out since our friends and my family really pulled through with many presents and large financial donations (my mom pays for the Pumpkin’s daycare). Frank got a job just as the Pumpkin started to need more food and formula which also worked out. But this latest tool expenditure is driving me nuts. I am tired of going into a negative financial direction. How do people do this?

I need to accept and acclimate. I’ve started to keep a budget the way I did when I first moved out. At least if I am doing something I feel like I am helping the situation or somehow gaining control. At least I can track our spending and make sure we stay within our means.

Aug 20, 2004 – My Thai Noodles are so Gelatenous.

Ah… Finally made it to Friday. I don’t know how full-time working moms do it for years at a time. It’s not for me. I’ve been giving myself three-day weekends here and there. Now, I only have four vacation days left and I need to save them for my sister’s best friend’s wedding in October so no more three day weekends for me. Hopefully, in a month or so, I can change to a four day work-week.

Feeling stressed and hurried and hungry to boot, last week I decided to rekindle my relationship with frozen dinners. The convienience far outways the lacking flavor, although they’ve improved since when I last ate them. Not only are they done in five minutes and can be ignored while cooking, they produce minimal dirty dishes and are great portion control. While they cook I can spend time with the Pumpkin instead of cooking and cleaning dishes. I’m going to start doing more research about what else I can do to save time.

We got Frank’s new schedule. He’ll be working 8 to 5. We should arrive at daycare together to pick up the Pumpkin! He has both weekend days off so we have more time together again. Most important and immediate, we can plan our trip to Florida in the end of September. the Pumpkin needs to meet her great-grandfather. We hope she’ll handle the flight ok. We’re getting her her own seat on the plane so we can use the carseat because if something does happen it is better for her to be in the carseat than on my lap. Jet Blue is cheap enough for this. Our first family flight together!

Our weekend is packed. Tonight we’re venturing out to Queens Plaza to Sears to buy Frank tools for his new job. Once again mom is coming to our financial rescue. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have a mom like mine who helps us all the time. Our life, and the Pumpkin would not be possible if she didn’t help us out. Like so many of my generation, we cannot make it without help. It doesn’t make me take her help for granted though. We’re so thankful. My sister is visiting and on Sunday we have a BBQ at Mom’s friend John’s house in Middle Village. Fortunately, Christine (my sister) has offered to watch the Pumpkin so she can get to sleep on time tonight. Not a bad deal since we have cable for her to watch and she can check her email and what-not. And the Pumpkin will sleep the entire time anyway.

I realize that I haven’t pumped at all this week. the Pumpkin took to the formula very well so I can bring back the machine next week. Right after I finish this, I am going to get my machine and pack it all up, ready to go. It’s been an adventure but I’m happy to get my lunch hour back. I’m still going to nurse her at night, in the morning and on weekends. Without bottles to carry, I can use a smaller bag making my daily load lighter.

Last night and this morning she waved goodbye for the first time. Experts say that the eighth to nineth months are when the language and communication skills undergo a little boost. We should also get a word soon but some babies talk later. She makes all sorts of talking like noises so it seems she wants to be verbal and if she takes after me, she’ll want to talk right away and lots.

August 18, 2004

All done. The new Website is up and working. Added new pictures from our Botanical Gardens outting courtesy of Julian. Why the Pumpkin has puss-face so much I don’t know. She was pretty happy that day – no fussing. Maybe she missed Daddy a little bit even though Julian was wonderful company as always. She smiles best for Daddy.

Bored with the American performances in the Olympics, I have decided to root for whoever is left over. Last night I cheered for the Italian swimmer who got a bronze. The chicky who won a gold in fencing was jumping around like a crazed person. Her performance was not at all graceful as I thought fencers would be. This morning I caught a brief bit of woman’s indoor volleyball and men’s single badmitton. I missed the equestrian cross country which I was looking forward to but it was on at 5 am and I fell asleep. 😦

I am amazed at how young the competitors are; many, half my age. At thirty, I am older than most of the athletes. Scary. When I was fifteen I wasn’t doing anything remarkable at all. I am envious of any one who can devote themselves so entirely to one interest. How can you know at seven or eight that this is what you want to do with your life? And, if you attain success, you still have almost your entire life left over to do something else. Most other things take a lifetime to master.

The media coverage of the Olympics is always great. I am ready to book a trip to Greece.

Today is Frank’s last day at school. Whohoo!!! We are done. The evil schedule of hell is over. Today is the last day he’ll get up after only five hours of sleep for a 16 hour day. Good riddence! Farewell crappy school. Thanks for preparing him for the job at BMW. See ya later. He has orientation tomorrow and we’ll find out what his new schedule is like. By December, hopefully I’ll be working four days a week. Yes Yes Yes…

August 16, 2004

I like the olympics. They feel good. Everybody getting along nicely. It’s the only time I like to watch sports on TV. I love the internet coverage where you can find out who is doing what because unfortunately I have to go to work and can’t watch TV here.

I’m cheering for the Iraqi soccer team because they deserve a medal for getting as far as they have. Otherwise I’m just an observer. I’ve seen dressage (snappy outfits on horseback), women’s softball (ah the memories), gymnastics (weggies galore), men’s swimming (no body hair!) men’s basketball (blah), men’s weighlifting (mighty men), badmitton (shuttlecocks heh heh), and soccer (yeah fooosball). the Pumpkin was glued to the set when we were watching soccer so I gather she likes it too, ok since it’s a special occasion.

Zansite is going to remain static for a little while. I am in the process of redesigning, again, since I do not like how the browser treats my frames and the black is bothering me. Work is a little busy so it’s going to take a while. I am going to use a splash page (gasp!).

August 13, 2004

I’m tired today and for no reason. the Pumpkin only got up twice. But I am falling asleep.

So far this morning I’ve read two disturbing things. One, that newly ex-governor of NJ McGreevey was keeping his lover on payroll for $110,000. And two, that congressmen still get their salaries after they return at taxpayer expense. Grrrrr… It’s things like this that keep money from getting to those who need it, like teachers and policemen and firefighters. Those people who make a difference and keep us safe. I had to pacify my anger with a pecan sticky bun from Au Bon Pain.

I was doing some searches and I found out that zansite, when accessed from search engines, pops up without the frame wrapper and any sort of navigation. This is just horrible so, for now, I put a link to the homepage on the bottom of every page. Looks like today I will be working on a redesign. Just as well, I want to have all the photos have better caption type that’s consistant. I also learned how to make pdf’s so for old journal entries, I can make a pdf download instead of having a long-arse page. Also comes in handy for fiction as I won’t have to retype the entire thing. I can also make pdf’s with pictures, also saving space and making it easier and faster for people to view pictures. Today will be testing and designing day.

Ahhh – the candy I ate for breakfast is working and I feel a little more perky. Time to create a new zansite! 🙂

August 11, 2004

Frank is in his last week of school and most likely his last week of working nights. We are relieved. We are both tired and fed up with the Lincoln Tech experience. Most of our frustration stems from the amount of money spent in return for relatively little. On the up side, he has gotten the job he wanted which is worth it. Another happiness, most dealerships have day-time hours. If all goes well, I will start to work part time in three months. I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I can do my job part time because they will wonder why they keep me full time, but it’s true. I can totally do my job in less time. It’ll mean less goofing off here and probably less rewrites to Zansite but let’s face it – who else redesigns their site every two/three months?

A five day work week has really been hard for me. I admit that I’ve used sick and vacation days to have a longer weekends during which to recover. Working full time and not getting enough sleep for this long makes me susceptible to all sorts of ailments like sinus infections, colds, migraines. Plus I can’t work efficiently because I’m groggy all the time and can’t think straight. Motherhood and career are two full time jobs. It’s so hard to do both. It’s so important to have a husband who helps out, which Frank is excellent at.

I’ve decided to not continue pumping past August. I’ll still nurse the Pumpkin until the end of the year, at least, if she doesn’t bite me anymore. That hurts! Sharp little teeth. We’ll see how it goes but she’ll get formula during the day when I’m at work. She’s drinking a lot of water and juice and less breast milk during the day anyway. If I was home full time I’d nurse forever but I succumb to exhaustion.

August 9, 2004

Even leaving two hours early from work makes a difference. I met up with Frank at daycare where the Pumpkin is so happy to see both mommy and daddy and pick-up time. HE GOT THE BMW JOB!!!! We are dancing with joy at this great job with room for advancement, paid training, benefits!!! Theoretically, I could quit my job, but I wont. Instead, ideally, I will continue to work part time. We need the money to pay for bills, and tools for Frank, at least for the next year. And the Pumpkin likes daycare. She has made friends there and they love her. Why would she want to be home with just Mommy, where it is boring? Plus I need the adult companionship work allows me. But, a short work week or shorter days will make all the difference so we’ll see how Frank’s new schedule will be and go from there.

Saturday I finally reached the end of my teather with my hair. Since I got it cut, in a style my hairdresser was just ecstatic about, I needed to make a new icon. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the village. We met one couple who had a little boy two months older than the Pumpkin. They were punks so it was fun to compare adventures. Conversations amoung freaky parents always begin, “So people think you stole someone’s kid too.” Of course, Frank and I are a little more conservative than most freaky parents.

Sunday, the Pumpkin and I met up with Julian for a nice trip the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Five years in Brooklyn and I had never been there before. Late summer is probably too late to really see the flowers in full effect but we still had a great time. He took lots of pictures I’ll add to the site in the near future. the Pumpkin enjoyed the koi and turtles in the Japanese garden and did a little supervised tree climing. She didn’t fuss at all! We’re happy to have a friend like Julian who doesn’t mind hanging around with a baby and an old married chick all day. 🙂

Mom came over later in the day, with John, to show us her pictures of Jamaica. They had a wonderful time and even partook of some local smokage! My mom is becoming quite the party animal. Good for her! 🙂

August 5, 2004

Yesterday my company has it’s annual gathering. This is a company wide meeting that everyone is required to attend. It used to be in the morning, followed by lunch and then we were free to take off the rest of the day. It was on a Friday which worked with half day Fridays and was really nice. Things sort of went downhill since 9/11 and last year they simply had a buffet lunch. This year, the meeting started at 1, which meant everyone had to scramble to eat lunch early or starve. We had to sit through three hours of less than stellar speeches, although a few were interesting, about how good we did (double didget productivity increases) and yet how crappy we did. And this was followed up with a, well if you’re doing so great why not more improvement? It’s the standard we gave an inch and now they want a foot. The problem is that moral is going down. We’re all tired and the powers that be want more production. And we’re short staffed and there is no hope of
hiring going on. In my group we lost two people and aren’t getting a replacement anytime soon. Yet it’s all about getting things down as quickly as possible. I am fortunate in that I have a good work balance and am not feeling the pressure but my coworkers are beginning to get annoyed at the situation.

Anyhoo, this was all followed by a cocktail hour. Free booze is good and we needed it after that meeting. But the h’or doeuvers were God-awful! Fried goat cheese with articoke breaded pucks, minced mushroom tarts, unidentified diced white substance tarts, white bean compote in little pastry shells, sundried tomato with green goock on mini bread slice, vegetable dumplings (comparatively easy to recognize), sliced rare (practically uncooked) beef with mysterious organic garnish. No fruit, no cheese, and everything tasted just crappy. It’s ok to have strange food but you need to balance it with something simple like cocktail weenies in pastry or chicken wings. And at least fruit. A 21% increase in productivity deserved something, something much better than that. I no longer feel at all guilty about leaving early or using my unlimited sick days.

On the homefront… At one point, I was so good with money. I even had a weekly budget that I kept. Now, week after week, I inevitably mess up my checking account. I can’t blame gremlins, I must take responsibility for my lack of paperwork. Starting next week, I am getting back on the budget keeping wagon. I am so dissappointed with myself. Grrrr. And it will take three weeks to fix the problems. Grrrr Grrrr.

On the up side, I made it to work in one piece. Always a bonus. My sister is coming back to New York. YeaH!!!! Much joy and rejoicing. She’s going back to school. Growing up. Realizing a degree might be a good thing. Good for her. She wants to go back to Vermont though, so maybe in the future we’ll all relocate up north somewhere. Frank and I are leaning towards the shore. There are so many nice towns in New England that are right on the ocean. And New England scores very high on the welfare of children scale.

I got the new Restoration Hardware catalog. I love everything in there. When we grow up and get a real house and have a furniture budget, I want furniture from there. It’s substantial, real, solid wood furniture. The sort of pieces you pass down generations. They have this one set with inlaid tin. So beautiful. The new Ikea catalog is also out which is more realistic. They have a really nice rug I’d like to get for the bedroom. It’s round! 🙂

the Pumpkin was up all night, take two. It doesn’t seem her food is to fault so we’re expecting a new tooth any day now. Maybe a top one will come in. We’re excited but part of me thinks of the inevitable braces that are coming in the future.

August 3, 2004

Ever since I had the Pumpkin, I’ve been a lot more relaxed about everything. Still, I used to get annoyed at things. Now, just getting to work alive and in one piece puts me in a good mood. I feel like to get annoyed is to be unappreciative of the good grace of just surviving these days. In light of this, perhaps my daily rant will be on hiatus for a while. is really growing. I’m glad I’m using frames this time around since some of the pages are quite lengthy. I am compiling information about several of the places we’re thinking about moving to as well as summary charts I’m making of the Children’s Defense Fund survey that came out recently. Yes, I have no life but more inportantly, I want to make a good decision regarding where we move to. Frank leaves these things to me. He just wants a nice quiet place, near water. He really liked Burlington VT so any place like that would work for us.

In doing recent home buying research, I am noticing that 2 family homes aren’t necessarily that much more expensive and with that you get an income. It’s food for thought. If I am home with the Pumpkin anyway, it’d be a second income without my having to leave home. Every day that goes by, I am more and more unhappy with her being in daycare full time.

Oh dear… the graphic designer a.k.a. pain in my toochass, just pulled my new boss away for a discussion. Fortunately, my new boss, really my old programmer, knows about how this guy is such a pain in the toochass. Hopefully he doesn’t let him get away with anything. I hate the way this guy tries to circumvent my job. He should meet with both of us but he doesn’t because he is employing divide and conquer tactics. He should work together and with me but he doesn’t. He likes to tell me what to do and hand me some bulldooty story about what is good design and tags on terms like “organic” and “spacial relationships” trying to sound all important but really, at best, he is a mediocre designer (I’m not the only one to think so). He doesn’t compromise, his being the only way to design things because any idea he doesn’t come up with is crappy. Naturally, I get nervous when he is around and he can sense fear. I wasn’t too worried because I figured I would be quitting by
the end of the year, but that might not happen so I am really hoping my new boss is as good a buffer as my old boss.

Crap, and I was supposed to be thinking happy thoughts…

August 2, 2004

Using the most fabulous and fun candy-doll-maker at – I made an anime version of myself. Thanks vivnsect for the fabulous website. 🙂 I wouldn’t have though it, but you can actually see what sort of haircuts work and what doesn’t even though it’s illustrated and not real. I wish I could do something like this with real haircuts so I know what to do with my mop.

Frank and I went to the new Target and spent way too much money. Most of it was on necessities like diapers and baby food but some was extra. We got a little carried away since it’s been so long since we’ve spent money on anything that isn’t food or the Pumpkin related. We bought a cabinate for the bathroom, got it home and realized that it didn’t fit. It’s very bad to impulse shop. So we returned again with other items to return (more impulse items). They gave us a giftcard which we spent on other items. So tired from all the shopping, we left the new bathroom shelf there. So the next day went back to Target, grabbed a shelf like the one we left behind and then returned that one. Sounds shady but really it’s not. Upon further consideration, we decided not to get the shelf but rather get a tent for use at the beach. With a tent, you can spend the entire day at the beach without getting fried by the sun or disturbed but other people’s snotty little children. After we picked
up the tent we hopped on the LIRR, which is right downstairs from the Target, tent in hand and headed to Long Beach.

The trip went smoothly. The weather was perfect for a day at the beach. The only problem was the wind. Tents are really hard to set up in the wind. However, once erected, we had a private shelter from the blowing sand and other things like annoying children. the Pumpkin loved it! She’s such a water baby. I, however, had some mild problems keeping my bathingsuit on in the rough surf. No free shows though. We didn’t get pictures because digital cameras and sand don’t play nice together. Good thing too since with the wind, sand got into everything.

I spent a good deal of Sunday getting the sand out of everything. I cleaned and then mom and John came over to watch the Pumpkin while I did some laundry. Thankfully they brought food with them. Frank and I watched the Italian Job while I folded some laundry.

After a nice relaxing weekend we woke up this morning to the news about the terrorists. Since I am one block away from the Citicorp building, I am more than a little nervous about being at work. I am very nervous about taking the subway which passes right under that building. My other choice is the 4/5 which goes under Grand Central Station, another likely target. The Citicorp building is so tall, it’s like to take out some surrounding buildings as well which may include mine. I have my bag ready at all times and if need be, can escape in a hurry to a separate staircase that exits directly outside. At least the Pumpkin is in Brooklyn and soon Frank will be finished with school and the Holland Tunnel.

Congratulations to the scum-bags, I’m scared. I don’t care if it’s letting them win. Who cares! I, for one, am not going to argue the finer points of what terrorism is or isn’t and who wins and loses but rather am much more concerned with getting out of the city alive and reuniting safe and sound with my family. I can’t wait to move. It’s not worth dying and leaving the Pumpkin with no mommy to prove that American pride is stronger than terrorist might.

July 29, 2004

I am on the cusp of a busy day. Today we’re having the farewell party for my coworker who is leaving us. She has been my partner in crime over the past four years so it’s very sad that she is going. However, she has a two hour commute with the more-crappy-than-mta, New Jersey transit and she wants to finish up school and become a vet tech. In preparation, I must go out and get some tasty cup-cakes from Buttercup Bakery, flowers and a card. And it has to be done on the down-low and with much stealth.

Everything went well with today’s party. Unfortunately I am too tired to work now. So it’s all about dalying until 5 when I can go. I’ve stayed a little late all week so I don’t feel bad at all about leaving early, or on time actually. the Pumpkin and I need to pick up dinner and diapers on the way home.

My new dilehma is regarding our costumes for the upcoming ren faire trip. I have a decent outfit but my floral wreath met with disaster last year. What I really want to do is to make a new dress with coordinating hennin. But I don’t have time to get fabric or sew. And there’s Frank, who has this obsession with pirates and would love to wear a pirate-y outfit. I don’t have time to sew that either. The renstore on-line has such a pirate ensemble but the sword, which is very reasonable, is not sheathed so that’s a ren faire no no. I hate the idea of buying something but… I hate not wearing costume on a rare costume friendly date even more. the Pumpkin is too small to fit anything now but next year I have a pattern that is just the cutest thing ever for her. My mom is leaning towards renting costumes for the day for her and John (we like John – she can keep him). One day I will make authentic ren period costumes for all three of us.

July 28, 2004

After a mad rush yesterday, I finished the new website. I added my coney island pictures today and since I can’t get pictures to show up in my live journal, please visit to see them. There are new kitty pictures too. I reorganized the photo section so that they’re grouped by event or subject.

We’re coping with Frank’s schedule. He’s so bored at school and really would rather be spending time at his new job. Our mantra, as of late, is one more month… one more month. He really misses the Pumpkin, who is sleeping when he gets home and when he leaves in the morning. He doesn’t get to interact with her until Friday. This trial will be over August 18th.

Having finished Le Guin, I am on to Tolstoy now. I’ve read “Family Happiness” and “The Death of Ivan Iylich”. Both are captivatng stories but extremely wordy. In journalism they teach you to be frugle with your words, the polar opposite of Tolstoy’s style. Like Dickens, I can skip every three words and still get the idea of what is happening. This probably makes me a bad writer, or at least one with a guilty conscience. I appreciate their use of language but sometimes I just want to get on with it.

In closing, I feel compelled to continue my series of summertime rants. Three cheers for the summer corporate intern! Here is a hapless, yet somehow optamistic youth, who thinks he, or she, is quite the cats pajamas. Oh how special you think you are, and yet, how unremarkable you are. Oh yee of little life experience and large ego. Having had to deal with interns in the past I am particularily jaded since the experiences were bad and left not only a proverbial bad taste in my mouth but also a lot of extra, could have been avoided, work to do. So my hat’s off to you as you happily go off to your little cubicals, in poor fitting suits, to do meanial tasks, in such a rush to grow up. At least your being productive and not loafing around spending your parents’ money. I sincerely applaud you for that.

July 27, 2004

New Site!!

July 26, 2004

Frank crashed Friday and spent the entire day in bed. This schedule is killing us but it’s only the first week. In order to see him I stay up late but at least I get another 30 minutes in bed in the am. Friday evening I got home with the Pumpkin, who he was very happy to finally be able to spend time with. Being out of diapers, I ventured out to the store, hoping to get in and out before the rain came. No luck. I was soaked through by the time I got home. Nothing feel grosser than wet feet in flip flops. (I must make a note regarding an earlier post about my disgust with flip flops and the proximity to the dirt of the city sidewalk they place your feet in and yes, admit that for the short walk to the store I did indeed brave yucky feet.) However with the rain, both feet and flip flops got more-or-less clean.

Saturday we spent the morning cleaning and waiting for the life insurance lady so we can all get insurance and be responsible parents. It’s morbid but what if something happens to me or Frank? Neither one of us could afford to manage without the other so this way we have our bases covered for the Pumpkin’s sake. She has insurance too, which is a good thing to start because it will be easier for us to start a plan that has equity for her later on. More preperation for whatever she’ll need when she gets older. A lot of what she needs later on, needs to be planned for now. Seems like a small thing but it makes a world of difference.

Speaking of difference, I am telling everyone about U Promise. We’ve signed up for the Pumpkin. Just by buying stuff from the places we go to already we can rack up points for her to redeem for college money. Plan now or pay the consequence later on. Even if people don’t sign up for her, they should sign up for any child they care about because it is important and as a bonus for signing up, you get coupons and discounts and good karma.

After we met with the insurance lady, we headed down to Coney Island for some go-kart action. I am surprised how close it is. I thought it was much farther because in a car, via the Belt it takes forever to get there. It’s about 30 mins on the F. Very quick. Frank karted while the Pumpkin and I cheered on and they we took turns in the batting cage. Coney Island is full of strange people and greasy food. Not wanting the later, we headed down the boardwalk towards Brighton Beach where we came upon a nice restaurant, Winter Garden. Not that we’re conessuers (sp?) but we thought the food was excellent and plentiful for the price. It was a real treat to eat right on the boardwalk overlooking the beach, which was quiet due to the cloudy weather. The neighborhood is predominantly Russian so the experience was altogether very European. After dinner we walked down to the water. We took the Pumpkin’s shoes and socks on and gave her a taste of ocean swimming. She liked the sand but
when the water reached her toes, she pulled up her legs (too cold!). We’re looking forward to a nice warm day so we can all go swimming again. We stopped by the new Target and got the Pumpkin and Frank new shoes. She also got some new outfits.

Sunday, Mom came over for church. She is trying to escape her church because she over extended herself there and isn’t having fun any more. My church is small but we always have a good time and my paster is fond of using props during the sermon. Last week, he threw a hard boiled egg at the congregation. This week he used his daughter’s science project. I am always impressed how he can simplify a lesson and really bring a human and accessable aspect to faith. It’s a shame there aren’t more Lutheran’s in our neighborhood. Mom took us out to lunch where the Pumpkin ate her first cheerios, kind of. Many landed on the floor. Lots of amusement there. Mom and I spent the afternoon walking around the neighborhood and checking out the new Target again. Unlike Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon was so crowded. There was some sort of fiesta going on with free food. I hope it will become less crowded in the future. There is also a DSW that we checked out. I almost found a cute
pair of shoes but they were in the wrong colors. Black is so hard to find!

Frank came home a little aggrevated because he is not making what he thought he would be. Actually he is not even making minimum wage but this is off the books. Hopefully he can work something out even though what he does bring home, makes a big difference in our budget. We ordered Chinese and watched the long awaited for new “Dead Like Me” episode.

Pictures for our weekend events as well as the poncho and dress I recently finished for the Pumpkin are going to be posted on the website tomorrow.

July 23, 2004

I don’t want to work. Forunately there isn’t anything on my plate that can’t wait until next week. Next week will be better. Next week I will not wait up for Frank to come home. Next week the Pumpkin will continue to sleep more-or-less through the night and next week I will return to busy bee mode.

With the lunches and parties for my soon to be departing boss, I have o.d.’ed on fancy food. This could be contributing to my slothy behavior. And I am tired; today more than I have been in a long time. Frank just didn’t get up. We are in the home stretch though. Only three more weeks and it will be all over.

I am really enjoying my evenings alone. It’s peaceful with just me and the pumpkin. We play on the floor and listen to classical music. Then there is dinner, sometimes, and maybe a bath. Then I read to her and it’s lights out bedtime. Lately, instead of going to be myself, I’ve been staying up to make her a little dress. I hate when trying a new pattern to find out that the pattern is not as efficient as it could be. Part of the problem is I need to iron what I’ve done. I’ll post pictures of this as well as the little poncho I made on the website soon.

Speaking of the website, I might redesign today. I’ve been thinking about it and it’s quiet here. Everyone will be gone in a few hours because of half day and I am here until 2. My desire to redesign a perfectly good website is that since I’ve got a real website and not a freebie, I can actually use frames. Normally I don’t because they are super bad for ecommerce and generally bad usability. But my site is not for ecommerce, it’s just for fun and usability is not so key when it’s a personal site. People usually have more patience. The new flash mx is fairly user friendly too so maybe I’ll use more flash in the new site. I love being a web designer because even when I am not working on a work project, it still looks like I’m working.

Days like today I really miss the Pumpkin and Frank but it’s Friday! We have tonight and all day tomorrow together!

July 22, 2004

It hasn’t been very long but I am iching for a redesign of zansite. Must resist since I have a lot on my plate. My new phone came quickly and I have moved in and gotten reacquantied with having a cell phone once again. It’s nice.

I continue to make updates to the literature section. I finished my Le Guin book so the review is in there as well as a link to her website. On to Tolstoy next.

July 20, 2004

Niel Gaiman says the coolest thing about being a parent. His advice is: “What do you do? Well, mostly, I suggest you enjoy it. As far as I can tell, having now done it three times now, without an instruction manual, if you love your kids and don’t actively work to screw them up, they seem to come out remarkably well, so I recommend not worrying and just enjoying it. They learn all the difficult stuff, like walking and talking, without you having much to do with it. And it all happens much quicker than you’d believe. (One moment they’re secretly selling their toys to passers-by to raise money for sweets, the next they’re telling you why Microsoft is The Great Beast.) Listening to them’s good too; you learn an awful lot.” I found his website today and was floored to see that he keeps an online journal in which he regularily answers people’s letters online. I always admired his work but now I have a greater respect for his humble and down to earth attitude. Must
get the day I swapped my dad for two goldfish asap. My sister has it but with her far away, I’d like to have it for the Pumpkin as a bedtime book.

Our first night without daddy went well. I picked up the Pumpkin at 6. She was ecstatic to see me. Lots of smiles and hugs. She has just eaten so we didn’t have to rush home to eat. We played on the floor for about a half hour after I fed and pet the critters and watered the plants. The she jumped in her jumper while I made myself something to eat. We watched a little tv during dinner, a neccesary distraction so I could eat. Then I put on the classical music and we got the bath things together. A very wet bath was followed by a nice story, The Churchmice Take a Break. the Pumpkin rolled around for another 20 minutes, playing with her aquarium, and then finally pooped out at about 9. I waited up for Frank at 11 (he broke his key and needed to be let in), made him dinner and waited to see if the Pumpkin would wake but she didn’t. Not a peep until 4 which means just 7 hours, yes 7 hours of sleep!!! Once Frank has his key and I don’t need to stay up, I will be hopefully
getting a full night of sleep. Horray!!!!

Frank’s schedule is so hard; up at 5am asleep at 11pm. He is having trouble adjusting but we knew the first week was going to be hard. By next week, things should be running smoothly. Until he is done with school, which is another two months, we will have no social life so that extra time can be used for relaxing. It is imperitive that he no get burned out. Having the Pumpkin sleep through will help immensely.

The literature page is coming along better than anticipated. I have decided to add links to the author to create better value and de-fluff my site.

July 19, 2004

My rant for today has to do with the stupid LIRR. Normally I am a total advocate for public transportation. I love the subway. The LIRR is, however, not the subway. And every time I take it, I am reminded why all trains are not created equal. Frank and I were running a little late for our 4:06 train to Babylon. We missed the bus. We saw it coming and tried to cross against the light but with the Pumpkin we don’t take such chances. We hoped the light would change, holding it for the one minute we need to cross to the bus stop, but it didn’t. So, we’re flexible. We headed, double-time, to the 4/5. We got to the LIRR at Atlantic Avenue with several minutes to spare. I ran ahead of Frank to get to the machine to buy the tickets. Of course there was a line, but it was short, only two people being in front of me. Unfortunately those two people didn’t know how to use the machine so this MTA rep was walking them through the process. He pauses in his instruction to tell me I can use my
debit card to by said tickets if I run upstairs to the manned window. So, as the minutes tick away, I run upstairs to the manned window only to be told that he does not take debit cards. Grrrrrr!! So I run back to the machine and tell Frank to wait by the last car since it’s going to be close. I get back to the machine and new people are there, proof that I would have been able to get the tickets in time had I just stayed put. I tell the MTA rep that they do not accept debit upstairs and he says sure they do. I mutter to myself that they need to really coordinate their situations hoping that the guy will let me cut in line since I was waiting before but he doesn’t.

I hear the all-a-board and run, joining Frank in getting on the train. It’s a half hour wait if we missed it so waiting was not an option. Wait, it gets better. We get on the train. I am not going to pay extra for not having gotten my ticket before since it wasn’t my fault but rather that I was deliberatly led astray by the MTA rep when I said I would have been content just waiting on the line for the machine. The conductor comes by and says $8 to get us to Jamaica. I explain the situation and he still says $8. So I’m getting ready to pay and he says $8 each!!!! For a measly trip from Flatbush to Jamaica!!! OMG!!! Talk about a load of crap. I only have $10. I mean, there were are with the Pumpkin. This guy cannot turn us out at East New York. But he doesn’t. The one redeemable factor was the nice conductor who charged us the senior fare. Thank you!!! At Jamaica we missed our connecting train since we had to go find a machine and buy tickets. We had a lovely 30 minute layover on the platform
surrounded by smokers since the LIRR allows that kind of disgustingness. At least the Pumpkin had a nice nap and didn’t fuss at all. She is such a good girl.

Once we got to Long Island, this time we weren’t blessed with prostitute activity at the station while we waited to be picked up, and to Frank’s sister’s house, it went much better. We had a nice BBQ, celebrated Frank’s new job and thankfully got a ride home with my Mom.

On Friday, the Pumpkin discovered her piano all by herself. She dug it out from under the blanket chest and started to play with it. I set it up for her and now she uses it all the time. I am still looking for an exersaucer but it worse come to worse, we’ll just pick one up from Baby Depot or Target.

Speaking of Target, our neighborhood Target, located in the newly nice Atlantic/Flatbush intersection mall, is scheduled to open next weekend!! We are planning a pilgriam to finally use some valuable coupons on diapers and the Pumpkin items since we have to drop off our debt payment anyway.

I’m thinking that maybe we’ll go swimming as well. Now that Frank is working and Saturday is our only day together, we want to make it a special day. Monday through Thursday we’ll only pass like ships in the night since he’ll be getting home at 11 and leaving at 5:30. It’s a hellish schedule but only for the next month when he finishes school.

July 16, 2004

Ah – I had a semi successful trip to the library. I got Ursula Le Guin’s “The Left Hand of Darkness” and a collection of short stories by Tolstoy since the author of the writing book raved about him. I haven’t read too many Russian authors so I’m looking forward to it. I didn’t get my Tolkien book but at least I have it reserved for when it comes in. I forgot what fun the library is; searching through dusty shelves trying to find a book. The poor public library is yet another great institution sadly falling by the wayside. My sister is in the little town of Mo-vegas (Morristown) Vermont and she has a better library than I do. Sad, sad state of things. Of course I do go to a mini-branch and the big Brooklyn library downtown is very large indeed but perilously close to the store with all the neat children’s toys for the Pumpkin.

When faced with this years equally sad election, I am wondering if we, as a country, aren’t headed for a downfall. The entire nation is fat and greedy, it seems, and without conscience for the social good. America is morally bankrupt. It’s depressing. I would love to run for office. Even if it was something local. I vote but always for the lesser of two evils, never for someone I like. Our politicians haven’t a clue or worse, they know and don’t care about people our age.

If I was a politician my platform would center around healthcare and education. Free healthcare, free public education, free education for people willing to work in public service, public transportation regulated by the government and subsidized, safe and attractive low-income housing, working for welfare – no free lunches. Fix social security so that what you pay towards social security comes back to you. High penalties for people who abuse the system. Lots of government interference but for the common good. It’s frustrating how many domestic problems there are. Of course, I’d raise taxes up the wazoo and probably be impeached. But peaches are so tasty…

I bet a place like that exists but I don’t want to move far from my family.

Happy thoughts… Today is half day Friday! Looks like we’re going with the AT&T plan and next week I will have a new phone and probably a new number. I have a nice busy weekend planed with some garden time and a bar outting today, laundry followed by a dinner with Mom tomorrown and a special brunch on Sunday.

July 15, 2004

My boss is cleaning out his office and walking us through memory lane as he reviews his notebooks for the last five years. We’ve been through a lot together and it’s nice to remeniss.

Frank is coming with the Pumpkin in about 8 minutes so I only have time for a short entry. I love the Pumpkin visits at work.

Our new issue is about our cell phones. We’re debating on whether to get a new service contract with Nextel, which works everywhere and under all sorts of conditions like blackouts and terrorist attacks, but will cost like $350 up front to get going. The monthly bill will be about $10 cheaper that what we pay now. Or our other option is to stay with AT&T, with whom I will have to buy another phone for $110 but change our service for a $30 savings per month. But we stay with the AT&T service, which is good but no Nextel and we’ll have less minutes. It’s a delehma. But I hardly use my phone since I have one at work and Frank will be working as well so no phone for him. We’re never on the phone at the same time. I really only want one just in case…

July 14, 2004

So, this morning I am going to work. I’m still without a book since I didn’t make it to the library in time to pick one out yesterday. Everywhere around me is the smack-ity-smack of flip-flops which I am trying to ignore but without a book/diversion, it’s impossible. All I can think of are dirty feet. Onward to the 4/5. As I am walking through the transfer area, I take the F to the A to the 4/5 in the am, I notice not one, but two beefy looking guys handing out passes to, what I assume it, a strip joint. One guy, was very beefy indeed. How do I know, do you ask? Well, he was sporting a sheer shirt. Just lovely. His accomplice was wearing a suit, obviously going for the more classy type clientel. I was not offered a pass since they seemed to be very targeted in their pass allocation (attractive black ladies) and I probably don’t look like a person who would go to a strip club featuring beefy black guys. What was even more amusing was that they were competing for space with the Jews for Jesus people who are there every day. Only in New York.

Once I recovered from the sight, I noticed that the Fulton street station on the 4/5 line is newly illuminated. I will be happy when I get a book because now I can read it on that particular platform.

Just when you are happy that the worse of your trials is other peoples dirty feet, you hear something. My friend Vivienne saw someone fall several stories from a building. She included a link to the daily news article which I glanced over. Some sort of lover’s spat. Rediculous reason to jump out of a building. At the very worse, I would throw something out the window. The jumper lived, though. Imagine that! Of course she is quite mangled. I’ll pass on extreme building jumping for now.

Finally good news. Frank got the job!!!! It is a big relief for us. Hopefully the beginning of better times.

July 13, 2004

I’ve made massive updates to the website. There are new pictures in the Zo&euml album as well as the general photogallery.

After dealing with what I thought was allergies, I went to the doctor. He says probably some reoccuring sinus infection. I ask him what I can do since I’m breastfeeding. He says saline nose spray and sudafed. The problem is that sudafed, which sounds nasal even when you’re not stuffed up, will most likely make the Pumpkin a little hyper. No way! So I’m sticking with the saline spray which is working well.

I saw many, many, stupid beaded slippers during the weekend; at least two dozen. I cannot say how many more I didn’t see since I can’t be everywhere but I’m sure it’s quite a lot. I started to notice just how dirty everyone’s feet are, which is enough to give anyone an adversion to feet. So before I am scared for life, I am going to borrow a book from the library. My sister recommended the pre-quel, or related novel, to the Lord of the Rings. I can’t remember the name so I hope something rings familiar at the library. Frank and I just watched “Return of the King” yesterday which was just awesome. Since everyone agrees I don’t need to add more than that we too, liked it. When we get money, all three will join our DVD collection.

the Pumpkin is crawling!!! She sort of moves like an inchworm but in a few moments, she can cover about three feet. She is highly motivated by anything that makes noise. Her next toy will be something noisy that she can chase around the floor. Look out kitties! the Pumpkin loves the kitties…

Frank has an interview this afternoon. It’s a 24 hour garage with flexible time, in Brooklyn, so it would work out well for us. We need just a little more to get by so even if it’s only a few hours a week, it’ll help the budget significantly. Also, the experience is crutial for him. We have our fingers crossed.

My favorite part about summer is fresh fruit, especially berries. Blue and straw berries were both on sale so I got some to have with lunch. Last night before I fell asleep, I was thinking about when we have a house and how nice it will be to have a garden. So far I’d like to have raspberries, blueberries and tomatoes. Maybe cucumbers and green peppers too. I’m not too much of a green thumb but if I was home with the Pumpkin I’d have time to learn and it’d be good for the two of us to work on together.

July 8, 2004

I miss Vermont. I miss the peace and quiet. Moving isn’t one of those things you can jump right into. Research is required. Unfortunately I am not a patient person and I’d like to get the show on the road. For now I must appease myself with research. Good thing I have the internet at my fingertips. Frank is equally ready to go. Once he finishes school, we will only have to find him a job, buy a car and we can go. I don’t need a car since all the places we are going to have public transportation or things within walking distance.

In the meanwhile, I am going to make daily commentary about life in New York so I can remember all the things that I currently take for granted or are accustomed to. Today’s commentary is about the beaded slipper trend. Everyone seems to be wearing these mesh, beaded slippers to and from work. I have a problem with open, flat soled shoes in the city. Why would anyone want to be any closer to the dirty streets with their bare feet? Tetnius anyone? I can’t even imagine how dirty your feet are when you get home if you wear those. Eeewwww yuck! and they are everywhere. On the way home, I might try counting how many pairs I notice.

My rant for the day has to do with our new automated web based time sheet interface. It blows! I have had my timesheet returned twice so far because I am not doing it right. Really I hate it. I mean, if the hours add up to 35 then who cares? I used to keep a decent track of my activities before this process but now I think I will attribute everything to general web work which is only one project code. I miss the simplicity of a time card and punch clock although, as an ex-accounting student, I understand why they need all these numbers. But it’s now needlessly complicated. Part of the problem is that the people who get it arn’t reading it right and double checking before they come and bother me. As if I don’t have enough to do.

All in all I can’t complain. There is a silver lining to the once dark cloud of living standards that hangs over us. Soon, we will have a modest home to call our own!

July 7, 2004

Happy 4th of July to everyone and a big thanks to those who wished the Pumpkin luck with her moooo-deling.

Frank and I headed to Vermont for the weekend with my Mom. It was slightly cramped in her car but thanks to Frank’s great packing job, we managed just fine. the Pumpkin needed twice as much stuff as the three of us combined!

It was late when we arrived so we just settled in. the Pumpkin didn’t handle the change of environment so well so I was up several times a night to feed her so she’d sleep. Saturday she took us around her town, Morristown, which the locals call Mo-vegas because it has two 24 hour stores and various shady happenings. Still, Vermont at it’s worst is nothing compared to New York. Frank made friends with Christine’s neighbor and skipped going to a party with the girls. My sister was so happy to show her co-workers the Pumpkin. They were all well acquainted with her due to pictures and stories my sister relays.

Saturday we went for a little hike to a waterfall. Frank was able to climb right up with the Pumpkin in the Kelty, no problem. We got some wonderful pictures which I’ll have on the website as soon as possible. Sunday we visited with my great aunt and uncle at their cabin which really is in the middle of nowehere, Vermont country. My godmother was also there to celebrate her brother’s birthday since he lives in Vermont and near my uncle and aunt. Neighbors also came so it was a nice family gathering. The neighbors have a small boy who was playing so sweetly with the Pumpkin. During the afternoon we took the Pumpkin to the lake for a swim.

Monday we did touristy things like tour the Magic Hat brewery and the Lake Chaplian chocolate factory and then onward to Burlington, which is a pristine lake front city. Well, nothing is a city compared to New York but it’s nice. More pictures. Tuesday we traveled back to the city. Such a long drive. the Pumpkin really behaved so it went well.

Frank and I are really ready to move. We’re tired of New York and never being able to afford anything. We’d like to stay but the life we want is impossible here. And there’s the Pumpkin to consider. Frank was ready to stay in Burlington but he’s got some more school to finish. So we’re going to start doing research and looking into nice places to live in, if not Burlington, then the coastal New England area.

July 2, 2004

We’re off! Going to finish up my day here, late since I was late coming in on Wednesday so I’m leaving at 2 instead of 1, and going to meet the mom at her doctor’s office. Then Frank will drive in, with the Pumpkin, and pick us up so we can get right on the road from Manhattan. I can’t wait. Vermont is eternally relaxing and a potential place for us to move to.

It’s Friday and since our half-day schedule has commenced no one is working. Plus you can bring your little one in so there are screaming children everywhere. I should bring the Pumpkin in with me. She doesn’t cry that much. If I had an office, I would without thinking twice but I only have a lowly cubicle (prison cell) and don’t want to bug my office mates. In other good news for the Pumpkin, it looks like she has been chosen to be a moodel for Bon Bebe clothing. Yea!!! More contributions to her college fund because even now, if she makes money, it’s hers. We’re just keeping it for her college because I don’t want her to do with her money what I did (shopping) which was not at all responsible.

Finally my article for Morbid Outlook web magazine, about historic japanses fashion, got published which officially puts me back into the written world again. I feel great about it and look forward to writing more articles soon. I’ve missed writing for publication over these years. A link to it is on zansite, which, by the way, has lots of new pictures.

Every day I am enjoying the new arrangement we have at home. I see my keyboard and several times this week I was going to work on somethings. But I am so tired when I get home and barely have enough quality time to spend with the Pumpkin before she goes to sleep. Then when she is asleep, I have to eat and clean my pumping gear for the next day. It didn’t help that I was working on a poncho for her, which is now done. I guess what is good is that I was thinking of working which I haven’t done in months. I’m not starting a new crochet project so I can work on some music next week. Strange how it’s taken six months to figure out some balance between my job, the Pumpkin and my creative endevours.

July 1, 2004

Another glorious day following a decent night’s sleep. the Pumpkin continues to only wake up once between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. which is fine with me.

Work remains busy. Today I finished my flash project. I call it “flashing” while I work on flash projects which makes everyone chuckle and fills my daily quota for provacative mischief. Since I am avoiding further projects, at least for a little while, I printed out some pictures here at work and discovered the color printer kicks big printing booty. I knew it was decent but not this decent. They almost look like actual photos and if I used photo paper I bet the results would be even better. So next week I am going to put the photos I like best on a CD and bring them in and print them all out. I am making a mental note that here is where I can make christmas cards instead of having to settle for mass-produced store bought types. If I had done the thank-you cards for the baby shower here, they would’ve gone out a whole lot sooner.

Mischeif caused earlier this week included emotional trama inflicted upon to the head of IT when he walked in on me pumping. I do have a big sign on the door that specifies lactation in progress and not to disturb but I guess he didn’t see it. Hey, what’s one more person to see my boobs. I don’t care but boy was he ever embarrassed. Chalk one up to unintentional mischief.

Recently Frank has come up with the funniest thing. He got into this fight with this hoody gang-star type at school and the guy is calling Frank white trash and all sorts of nasty things and Frank doesn’t want to say anything racist since there’s a double standard at his school when it comes to who can be called what so he says to the guy that he is a statistic. Point made. Same guy, when I went to visit, goes up to the Pumpkin and is like, oh don’t be afriad, I’m just a black man and so on and so forth. WTF??? I’m like, dude, her godfather is black. What’s your point? I regret not pointing this out and instead I said something along the lines that we live in Brooklyn so she’s use to diversity. I’m not sure he knew what diversity meant. Ignorant – grrrr – statistic!

So now when we see some chick with like eighty kids all screaming and dirty we’re like oh boy, there goes another statistic. Or on TV when people are singing about how great it is to have bling bling and whatnot and smack up the b*tches, yup, that’s right. Statistic. Covers a plethera of annoying people who aren’t helping society but mearly accentuating all the problems. Of course, we’re all statistics of one type or another but when people piss you off which is bound to happen when you’re all squwished together, it helps to have a non-threatening way to verbally release some tension.

I hate thinking that way. Normally I have a non-judgemental live and let live policy but when a stupid dork comes down on your husband you can’t expect him not to defend himself.

June 29, 2004

I am very busy at work, which is a good thing. The days fly by. My flash project is going very well and I can’t wait to get it out there and get some feedback. Being busy means that unfortunately I don’t have a whole lot of time for this site though.

Prompted by all the nice people who link to my site from theirs, I’ve decided to add a special section with links to their sites and return the favor. I remember doing this once but something happened to that page in one of the many redesigned this site has undergone. I really appreciate the people who I am lucky to call friends who over the years I’ve gotten invaluable support from.

June 28, 2004

My boss, whom I adore as a boss, is moving to South Carolina. I am very happy for him since this is great news and a happy change for him, since he is from Myrtle Beach. He’s been a great boss, a really, really great and understanding boss and I will miss him. I will miss how he protects me from the graphic designer/corporate brand nazi that is sometimes a thorn in my professional side. Also how he understands that I’m not really a corporate looking person but will still work very hard. Our little group has gotten very close-knit over the years having shared many life changes like my co-worker’s marriage and new house and of course the Pumpkin and there is another baby on the way and two more weddings. So we’re going to miss him a lot since he is like family.

I totally understand moving out of the city since Frank and I have been faced with the same issues ourselves and leaving seems like the only feasable way to have a real life. New York is great. There’s a lot to do but if you’re broke, and making less than 80K means you’re broke, you can’t do anything. We luck out because we live in a rent stabilized apt but if we didn’t, we could only afford a small studio with what we pay. There used to be neighborhoods for artist creative types which don’t exist anymore. Everywhere I go, unique stores are replaced with mass-market mall stores like Starbucks. The East Village looks like a suburban strip mall. I’m not sure that there is anything here that I couldn’t get anywhere else especially with the internet.

We are faced with a future where we would live in a small 500 square-foot apartment, cope daily with the uncertainty of whether or not our piece of junk car would be there in the morning, and know that we could never own a bike (we’ve already lost five) and, have to take out a student loan for the Pumpkin’s middle school since the public junior high school is developing gansters. We would pay three-times what some people pay a month in rent and we wouldn’t even get a pool or parking spot and we would never be able to save for a house so it would be a never ending cycle. Knowing we, as middle-class/working-class people, will never be able to afford a house, even a small one not larger than our apartment and where I spend every day squwished in a subway, working very hard just to be able to afford food and not even gourmet at that, is very depressing.

If Frank and I were some sort of professionals and our livelyhood depended on staying here so that we could have work that would be one thing. I cannot find work anywhere else really because the market is dry but I am staying home with the Pumpkin as soon as possible and Frank is a mechanic. He can work anywhere really so we need to go where I can stay home and he can work and we can live on that. Not a luxury life, but just a roof over our heads and food on the table without having to live in the projects. Oh, and having a front row seat to any terriorist activity doesn’t help either. I’m tired of being paranoid.

That being said, I still love New York and if we’re ever doing better financially and it’s still here, I’d love to come back.

June 28, 2004

We spent Saturday at Mom’s house for a BBQ. Whenever I go there, I always feel like I’ve been on vacation for a week. I return home nice and relaxed. Mom’s apartment is smaller than ours but she has a deck and backyard so it might be the nature that rejuvenates me. Frank took the car and went to his sister’s to pick up the Pumpkin’s swing set. I was hoping he would get back in time for her to try it out but he got lost, then called the wrong number and we didn’t know he was lost for two hours. By the time he got there the Pumpkin had already gone to sleep. I felt so bad because I usually call him more often. the Pumpkin tried out her new bathing suit in the hottub. It has ruffles!! There’s a picture in the album.

Sunday, We went to Asser Levy pool. It was an ordeal. First our train got delayed, which is normal for the weekend. Then when we got there, they said we had to put out things into a locker and we didn’t have a lock so Frank had to run out and get one. Fortunately he got two since the kelty needed its own locker. Then he couldn’t wear a black shirt over his bathingsuit so I had to go back into the locker room. Why not a black shirt? Plain white ones are ok. Bizaar. Then we had to shake out our towels just in case we were smuggeling contraband in our towels. the Pumpkin was so patient and didn’t fuss at all. Still… small price to pay for free swimming in a nice pool but a lot of ordeal for 15 minutes of swimming because it turned out to be just slightly too cool to swim for very long(damn breeze!). the Pumpkin enjoyed her little swim and didn’t cry even when we put her underwater (for just a second). We’ll wait until next year before letting her go on her own. For now she’s just
getting used to the water and not really swimming. A few years ago we had gone to the pool and for some reason didn’t go back. This year I think we’ll be making more trips.

June 25, 2004

Yesterday I played a little hookey from work thinking that I had all my work done for the week, which I almost did, and was therefore in great shape for a day off. I would love to pre-plan my days off but sometimes I just don’t and with working non-stop except to pump, even through lunch, I get a little burned out. Unfortunately I missed a press release which is bad, not terribly but still. So to remedy this I will write down press release days in my organizer. I have been seriously falling behind with my organizer. It’s still on the week of June 14th!

Instead of work I decided to tag along with Frank to his school with the Pumpkin. We got to the Port Authority at around 7:30, in time for a little, rather sub-standard breakfast before getting on the bus. The bus to New Jersey is the luxury type with reclining, cushioned seats and really big windows, what I expect for $4 and change one-way. Getting on and off with a baby and stroller and bags was a little tricky but everytime we make a trip we get better at managing everything.

Frank’s school is not what one would expect from a $20,000 a year school. The campus is circa Brady Bunch and very worn in. The entire place reminds me of a high school shop class gone amuck, a complete 180 from my post high school educational experience. His friends and teachers are very friendly and were very happy to see the Pumpkin, who Frank paraded around proudly. When he went to class I hung out in the cafeteria until the Pumpkin decided to fuss. So we went for a walk through the neighborhood (Union, NJ). It’s very tidy and middle class suburbia. I thought we could walk to a store or CVS or anything but I was reminded after walking for 15 minutes that everywhere that’s not New York is so car-centric. She felt asleep which was the goal.

Our trip home was uneventful (lots of I’m glad to be in Bklyn talk punctuated by ooo look at that car go by) until the Pumpkin blew up her diaper on the bus and we debated for 10 minutes whether we should change her on the bus or wait until we got to the terminal. It was stinky! It was escaping!! So we changed her on the bus. Score another place for the Pumpkin to have been changed. Not as strange as when we had to change her on the floor in the bedding department of Century 21. When we left, Frank forgot to get the diaper from under the seat and as I got off, I told the driver to wait for him to get it. The driver told us that we wouldn’t have believed how many times people had just left the diapers for him to clean up. I find that disgraceful. People can be so nasty.

Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to pay homage to the Hello Kitty store on 42nd Street. We wanted to get the Pumpkin a big Hello Kitty, bigger than her, but it cost $80, wasn’t made out of the nylon slobber-proof material, and wasn’t as cute as I’ve seen previously so we passed on it. We progressed to Toys R Us to spend a gift certificate. We showed the Pumpkin the tyranusaurus which didn’t scare her at all even though he looks really real. In the baby dept, we got her lots of food, peek-a-blocks, pop-beads, a stroller sunshade and an inflatable boat for the pool/lake. Frank had to go to the car section and there we saw a mini corvette, complete with radio, working lights and signals and it goes 5 mph. I would love to have this for her because I always wanted one but then I thought it doesn’t let her get exercise which is not good. She’ll get to try out the boat next week in Vermont.

When we got home, she tried sweet potatoes for the first time and ate the entire jarful. Then we opened the toys for her. She seemed to know right away the colorful boxes were for her. She went from one peek-a-block to another, holding each one up to her mouth and chewing. When given a choice, she grabbed the warmer colors like yellow and red over the blue and green pop-beads. Seeing her interest, we though we’d try to get her to crawl to the toys. No luck. Then Frank got out the mini remote control car. Such interest! And Dante looking over her shoulder too. We got great video of her catching the little car and sticking it in her mouth. Then, to our surprise, she started to vault forward to get to the little car! So Frank was driving just beyond her reach and she was moving forward to get to the little car!! We are so excited and can’t wait to keep working with her. Hopefully with our close supervision, the little car will survive the ordeal and we can get her her
own r/c car in a year.

Day two of project sleep-all-night went well. She didn’t wake up until 3 am and by then I really needed her to eat so I didn’t mind. I was awake anyway because I was uncomfortable. It’ll be a little while until I adjust to her not feeding at night. Funny girl. When she decides she’s ready to do something, she gets right to it. I thought it would take more time before she slept through but so far so good. It is only day two and probably too early to say. But we’re hopeful. Surprisingly, I feel crappy having gotten two decent nights of sleep in a row. Thank God for the weekend and more time to adjust to these things.

We have a BBQ at my mom’s to look forward to tomorrow. Frank will pick up her swing set from his sister’s house and set it up at my mom’s. The nice thing about having a cousin a year older is that the Pumpkin will have twice the toys she’d have if it was just us.

June 21, 2004

Friday I got three projects to do at work. So much for my blissful boredom. Two are normal generic design projects which are always good. One is a flash demo which I am really excited about!! Oh joy of joys and happiness. My days will go quickly now which is a good thing.

Frank’s Dad came over yesterday with the Pumpkin’s new crib. It is a nice, but worn-looking crib (the Pumpkin is baby three for this crib) which I would like to paint really, really bad. I think I can slap some paint up with a small brush without incedent a la Trading Spaces. Frank says we must sand and prime first. He is right. I am lazy. Therefore the crib will most likely remain the same. I was very impressed that they were able to get the crib assembled in less than 10 minutes.

It was happy to finally be able to use her new sheets and dust ruffle which I’ve had since the beginning of May. Much amusement as Frank and his dad, who are both manly men and therefore not wise in the way of seemingly useless, mearly decorative bedding, tried to help me get the dust ruffle on. The fitted sheet went better. We put the Pumpkin in right away and she seemed to acclimate well. Bonus!!! There is ample space underneath for two large boxes and a cat or two. They’ve all tried and approve of the new hiding spot.

After much delibration, Frank’s dad prefers domestic fare, we decided to get a late lunch at the Waterfront Ale House. Frank and I used to go all the time in our carefree days because their food is so tasty. It was a hit with Frank’s dad even though they didn’t have his brew of choice. He called back later that evening to say what a nice time he had so we’re hoping for more visits in the future since he’s close by car. the Pumpkin needs to see as much of her Grandpa as possible. We’re planning a visit the weekend after July fourth.

June 18, 2004

I’ve been reading my if you want to write book and I am newly inspired to write and then I remember, hey! I write in this thing almost everyday, especially when I am bored at work, which I am these days. So I am writing, in a way.

The nature of my job is super busy during development and not so during the rest of the time. But it is good. Time to think of other things like the neat website I made for my client wish I wish wish wish they would allow me to progress on. It’s soooo pretty. But I digress….

I need to return to writing my book. I think my perspective is all wrong. Third person allows some freedom of perspective but then, well you’re just detached. I find that I can be any character, which is fun, but then I can’t be any character really well because I am too spread out and I can’t remember everyone’s name, just like in real life. Nope, I was thinking I needed to make a point, that the characters needed to evolve. Crap – no, that’s just not going to work. Hmmm…. I’m too hard on myself. Anything is better than old Wang Lung, although he does take an interesting life journey and a good solid journey is better than a crash and burn story, which mine has become. Whale anyone?

Friday is my favorite. We’ll have half-day Fridays again this year, which means a little longer every other day but half off on Fridays. That means I can pick up the Pumpkin early which is good since Frank has to get her a little later on the other days because he has to bring his toolbox to school everyday now. I don’t understand why they don’t give them better toolboxes to use. I would love to outfit a rolling case with pockets for all his tools so he doesn’t need to use the toolbox which in and of itself weighs a lot.

Thinking of Wang Lung reminds me that I really need to make a trip to Pearl River Mart (favorite chinese goods store) and get a dressing robe. I have been debating forever, it seems, on whether I need a long or simply knee length robe. I would like it to be white cotton with a blue design on it. The silk ones are pretty but with cats and a baby, it wouldn’t stay nice for long. Too much drool and claws. And I am really tired of walking around the apartment in pajama pants and a nursing bra which is easiest for feedings but entirely unglamourous. I miss my nice silk night-wear from Victoria’s Secret.

Crap – not even lunch time yet.

June 17, 2004

I’m bored. Actually I was just discussing with a work mate about the state of childcare in the workplace, which is non-existant here because this is a small company. When I started here six years ago it wasn’t something I thought I’d have to consider. Now, more than anything, I wish I could have the Pumpkin close by. I’d be much happier. The pictures on my desktop just don’t cut it anymore. But it’ll be another six months at most and then either I’ll be home with her full time or I’ll move her to the YWCA which is around the corner.

So, we were talking about living in a stupid city where you can’t afford anything and how more and more people are getting fed up and leaving, and we came to the topic of holidays and gift giving and I told her that we made cookies for presents. Then I went on to mention the apple pie Frank and I make every year for Thanksgiving which brings me to a funny story.

Keep in mind that I love Frank’s family. So, last year Frank and I made our usual apple pie. We make it by smell so when it smells good, we know to throw the apples into the pie and bake. Every year it’s been better than the last. So we bring this pie, as well as a good but inferiour pumpkin pie, to his aunts house for Thanksgiving. Little do we know that she has made an apple pie as well. Well, when dessert time comes around and we’re sorting leftovers, Frank’s sister is getting ready to go and I notice she has our pie, the entire pie. So I ask for a slice because we wanted to at least see how it came out. She says oh, take as much as you want. I don’t want the entire thing, Frank’s aunt just gave it to her. We just took a slice and told her to take the pie home for her family. (reminds me, she still has the pie plate) Frank and I kind of snickered since it seemed like a case of pie envy. Next year we’ll try something else and keep the annual apple pie for ourselves.

June 17, 2004

So… it is summer in New York. The humidity is suffocating. And it’s only June. Never do I appreciate our new air conditioner than on days like this. And to think, I almost regreted paying $500 for said a/c. Really, the ones who most benefit are the kitties. Since two years ago when our poor little frogs literally boiled to death and last year when the kitties spent most of the summer locked in our bedroom, Frank and I have been committed to getting an a/c for the living room. This was the magic year of accomplishment! We shall see what havok it wrecks on the electric bill. We do turn it off at night because Yoshi and Clutch don’t mind the heat of the evenings and to compensate, I spend a lot of time turning things off. Lights, appliances, whatever is not absolutely necessary, off they all go. It reminds me of when I first moved out and was so afraid of being able to make ends meet that I usually sat in semi-darkness.

the Pumpkin’s first tooth has broken through! We felt something sharp but until yesterday we hadn’t seen anything. Hooray for the Pumpkin and this new milestone!! She is much closer to those crackers she eyes greedily while I eat. We have also noticed that she can roll onto her stomach and then back onto her back. Also if you cover her with a blanket, she can pull it off of herself, which is fun for peek-a-boo. As always, every little thing just amazes us. Soon we get to look forward to some intellectual milestones. We’re constantly teaching her how to do things like push buttons on her toys. Sometimes she imitates, sometimes not. It’s hard to say what constitutes learning. She does seem to be able to entertain herself, though, which is nice while Frank and I make dinner or clean.

Today she will eat peas for the first time. Just in case she hates them and spits them out all over the place, I decided to let daycare handle it. Frank and I were the first to feed her so subsequent feedings can be passed off without guilt. Not only will our apt stay cleaner but I can use valuable home time for breastfeeding and bonding.

I finished reading The Good Earth. Being budget challenged as of late, I’ve been re-reading a lot of what I already have. I remember clearly disliking the main character but figured maybe as an adult, I would have a different perspective. Nope – still don’t like old Wang Lung. I would be inclined to call this book, if you raise your kids with pride, the bad sort, you can’t expect them to have your values. Truly, his children mirror every one of his character flaws. I like that as he gets richer and more successful, he complains more about his bickering children and lack of peace. If he had just raised them in a humble environment with solid values, he wouldn’t have had anything to complain about, well probably not since he’s the whiney variety protagonist.

Now I am reading “If You Want to Write” (non-fiction); a book I hope will nudge me in the right direction with my still unfinished story. I am the queen of starting a story and getting about 80 or so pages into it and totally losing direction. Once, for a short story writing class in college, I was writing this story and really trying to work with it. I got to a point where I just couldn’t think of anything to happen to move the story along or of a good end so I had the herione get eaten by a whale; the end! It was the last time I wrote a story set in the Victorian period, where even death by whale is a lame way to end a story. I should have looked at my classwork as a way to begin projects, not as mear assignments with deadlines and limitations.

Why is it that we know so much better what to do after we’ve done it? Experience stinks in this way. By the time you get it, you can’t always apply it which leaves you totally annoyed. So the trick is to learn from others and skip making the mistake yourself, right? Case in point: I am reading this if you want to write book which is pointing out all sorts of ways I can get beyond my writers block and I am learning a great perspective on writing, and creativity in general. Both are really going to help my writing. Know when I bought the book? In college. When am I reading it? Now, five years and many unfinished manuscripts later.

June 16, 2004

So, I get an alarming email yesterday about Neville from Batcave who apparently killed a mother of three during a drunken drive home over the weekend. Sad, but not surprising. Back in the day I used to go to Batcave with someone who used to get us in for free by passing Neville pills of some sort or another. His priorities were always screwed up. He used to be a notorious coke-head. Eventually, one way or another, a life like that will catch up to you.

Obviously, now that I am a mother I just get so upset by these things. What would I do if someone killed the Pumpkin in a car accident? I can’t even imagine. And what if I died? For now, I am the one who takes care of my family. And what of his family? He has a wife and newborn. His actions cost them dearly since they are likely to have great financial strain and possibly lose their apartment. How could someone be so selfish? If he loved her, he would have quit. And she should have left if he couldn’t. What kind of father takes chances like that? I’ve been there before. It’s hard but you have to do it for yourself and your children, if you have them. I am so thankful that Frank would never pull anything like this. (I’m happily the designated driver in most situations!)

Ok, so enough about sad things I can’t do anything about. I’m very excited for the upcoming weekend which is going to be Frank’s first father’s day!!! I have a nice card I’ve been hiding here at work. Hopefully, his dad will make it in for a visit, which we’re all really looking forward to. We always enjoy spending time with his family but the cost of the LIRR is prohibitive most of the time. My mom visits a fair amount although less now that she is in the vortex and having weekend adventures. At this time, I can really see how my mom and I are so much alike which is very emotionally grounding.

My biggest complaint is the distance between all my family members. I wish everyone lived in the tri state area, at least. Frank’s family lives mostly on Long Island. If it wasn’t for email, it’d be very hard to stay in touch. I hate living so far from my sister. However, with prices as they are and with Frank’s school being a let down in the career acquisition department, we might find ourselves in a slightly less urban area anyway. We’re keeping open to moving to New Jersey.

Fortunately, although I’d hate to give up the Pumpkin’s daycare since they are the best ever, the YWCA around the corner from my work has daycare which would be very convienent seeing as I could, and would, visit her during my lunch hour. And if we moved out of our neighborhood, and I still had to work, I would need to find someplace new for her to go. So much to consider now. I would love to just stay home so I’m trying to stay optamistic about that possibility while reminding myself that lots of people have to use daycare and that daycare around the corner is pretty darn good. All of this worry in the name of health insurance because we need to have it and Frank’s future job may not offer it and mine does. Meanwhile every day it gets harder and harder to leave her. I thought the routine of every day would become comfortable but it isn’t. Somewhere in the back of my head, even though I know they just love her at daycare, I know that my place is with her. Of course, it’s for
her that I work. Without my being here, Frank couldn’t go to school to better himself but learning a trade he really loves and we wouldn’t have a roof over our heads or food, never mind the health insurance.

I do like my job and while I am busy here I am fairly happy. Downtime is the worst though. Nothing to do when I could be with the Pumpkin. And there is no way I can work and take care of her at the same time, at least not now. In a few months, she will be capable of self-play. Already this weekend Frank and I really couldn’t play with her too much while we reorganized and she went from bouncer to swing to jumper and happily “spoke” to us while we worked. This will open up new possibilities like maybe working from home on Fridays which would be incredible if my company would allow it. We shall see.

June 14, 2004

This past weekend was one of the busiest we’ve had a long time. Frank and I managed to reorganize the entire apartment. It’s amazing how moving certian things can make such a difference but it does. We found a place for everything without having to get rid of Frank’s car shrines, which he was willing to part with if need be. We moved the Ivar (everything is Ikea so it has a name) to the far wall and moved my keyboard into the living room. I hope now that it’s out in the open, I’ll be encouraged to work more often. In the bedroom, it was a place to dump clothing more often than not. My sewing things, which are cluttered even in the best arrangement are now in the bedroom. the Pumpkin’s crib has reserved real estate in our bedroom. Her first night back was a little rough since she still isn’t sleeping through. Her doctor says this is understandable since breastfed babies don’t often eat until stuffed but rather until satisfied. In our apartment it just isn’t possible to ignore
her so awake I must be at strange hours.

One of the primary rules of organization is to group like items together. All the books are now on the Ivar which is a vast improvement. Now I can see what I have to choose from since I routinely re-read my books. Clutch got moved over to the kitchen wall. Frank installed a shelf above for Yoshi and removed the lower shelf of Clutch’s table so we can put the cat food tray there. This makes feeding quicker since everyone is in the same place. Boy were the cats confused since we moved their tray. Where the Ivar used to be, now is my keyboard. Since this is lower than the Ivar that wall is all open. And the Ivar is more narrow than Clutch’s tank so the entire width of the room seems wider as well. Everything is now much more open. All seemingly small changes, which took all day, but they have made a big visual difference. the Pumpkin was so patient while we worked.

Friday evening we went to a little get-together at our neighbor Carl’s apartment. Because he lives downstairs, we both could go and have a good time since it was easy to check on Zoeuml; every 30 minutes or so. I was able to go up and feed her without a problem and Frank brought her down for a visit around 2 am. The best part was that I actually could relax and enjoy myself because I wasn’t worried about Zo&euml or getting home since we only had to go up one flight of stairs. Of course we spoke of space management since we all have similar woes. One neighbor, who had the same apartment as us, confirmed that the layout, although deceptively large, is hopelessly hard to arrange furniture within. The walls are all slightly too short (usually by an inch), for anything to fit correctly. In order to really do well, you’d have to start all over and buy furniture specifically for the space. Frank and I just can’t do that. Imagine how pleased we are that we were able to figure something
out with what we have.

We’re ready for our stoop sale now. I already designed fliers. We’re mostly getting rid of kitchen items we don’t use like the forman grill and the crock pot, which we liked but don’t lend themselves to easy cleaning. We have our old dishes as well. I am in a great debate about the blender which I don’t use but think about using a lot. If we have more counter space I would have it out and use it all the time. Maybe if I can clean out the kitchen enough, I can store it on the fridge with the toaster. I am selling the baby gear on since I’m more likely to get a good deal for it.

Sunday, we took the Pumpkin to Prospect Park for a day of kite flying and relaxing. Although the conditons proved to be difficult for kite flying, we had a good time watching the Pumpkin respond to being outside. Frank whipped up a spicy creole sausage dinner and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing at home watching The Blues Brothers.

June 11, 2004

I’m supposed to be working. But I just wasn’t pleased with the navigation of the previous Zansite so I re-did it. I can’t help myself. Still only a slight modification which will have to do for the time being since I have another web project in the hopper. Otherwise nothing else is new. I’m looking forward to a nice quiet weekend. We’re rearranging the apartment to make room for the new crib, hopefully to arrive next weekend.

June 8, 2004

This poor website has been in design limbo since I messed up my ftp and couldn’t update it with the new look. It’s only a slight modification since I’m busy with other things. Some of the new things I’ve added is a section on my web design and music as well as soon to be added installments of my book. I am sick again. This time it’s a little sinus cold. I hate being sick since I have to miss work. So today I am here, coughing and blowing my nose like crazy. I am glad no one else is in today so I can’t send my germs to another person.

the Pumpkin is doing well. She sits up and grabs onto things and can almost give us hugs. Every day she becomes more and more cute. This week we’re feeding her carrots. What a mess! I’m not sure but the peaches might have given her a tummy ache so we’re putting those on hold even though she clearly wants to eat them. She goes nuts when she smells the bowl and grabs for the spoon. We can’t shovel it in fast enough. It could also be the pineapple I was eating so we’ll see. Already, I know citris is the forbidden fruit but pineapple might very well be bad as well. Breastfeeding is so tricky.

Otherwise life is quiet. I finally got rid of surplus in the apartment by way of a baby clothing swap and a trip to goodwill. Some lucky person is going to get my Luichimy boots, retail $250, for really cheap. Everything I dropped off was in excellent condition and some things we hadn’t even worn. Our next big project, probably for next weekend, is to rearrange the furniture and for me to donate some of my books. Our preliminary plan is to move my keyboard into the living room, move the Ivar to the far wall, and set up the Pumpkin’s crib in the bedroom along the opposite wall of our bed. I’m also moving the books out of the bedroom and the sewing machine and assorted related items into the bedroom. If I had money to spend, I would love to get new organizer furniture from Ikea. But we’ll have to make due. Clutch will also be getting a new location. Unfortunately it looks like one of Frank’s auto shrines may have to be sold but we’ll see. They’re really nice peices of furniture
I don’t really want to get rid of. If we only had another 25 square feet all would be fine.

June 1, 2004

Man did I get a bug! By Thursday evening I had a 104.5 fever and we were sure what to do. I though maybe the hospital because that seems sort of high but what can they do really? These things have to run their course. I spent Friday in bed, only rising to take care of the Pumpkin, who I couldn’t get to daycare in my condition. I hate when I can’t take care of her. Saturday was much better although even today I feel slightly off and in a bit of a mental fog.

Sunday, feeling quite stircrazy, the Pumpkin and I ventured out for a nice day of walking around. We met up with my Mom, Grandmother, Mom’s friend John, and several of my Grandmother’s friends from Germany who are visiting. We covered ground zero and since everyone was thirsty, I took them over to the Winter Garden Theater. We got Starbuck’s, since there is always one when you need one, and we sat outside overlooking the Hudson. the Pumpkin demonstrated how well she can sit up on the table.

From there we walked to South Street Seaport. I lead the group along some of the smaller streets, hoping not to get everyone lost, and was pleased when we ended up right at the Seaport. We found another nice place to perch and the group had beer. I passed and instead fed the Pumpkin. I was really impressed by our guests since they were game to walk from the Seaport to Little Italy for dinner. I took them to La Mela, which is a new place that Frank and I just love. They serve the food, which is excellent, in a family style which means you sit, they bring it to you. No menu, no ordering. It’s very casual and a perfect place to bring the Pumpkin

We were ending up our meal when the evenings entertainment came waltzing in. This troubadore, if you will, who looked like a junior high school science teacher but who acted like Tom Jones, sang several songs, in Italian or Spanish and was a total clown. Everyone was amused except for the Pumpkin who screamed everytime she heard the guy anywhere near her which I thought was particularily humourous. He said it was because she is too young to appreciate his sex appeal. Much laughter there. We followed this with dessert at an outside cafe. I got a peach filled with Sorbet. I let the Pumpkin lick the frozen peach to see what would happen. She tried it, and then practically ripped my hand off to get at it. Mouth open and hands just shoving that frozen peach in. Yesterday, I made her peachsauce in our new food chopper which she really liked. Now we just keep an eye out for any signs of indegestion.

Since they close the streets down during the summer in Little Italy, it really feels like Europe. I would love to live in that area although it’s really way too expensive, as with everything in the city proper.

Monday, I went food shopping and sat around the apartment looking for ways to manage the space better. Realistically I am not going to be working on music until the Pumpkin is a little older so I think my music corner is going to get condenced. I also want to put shelves up in the bathroom to hold the towels instead of having them piled in the utility closet. I forget that Frank is able to hang shelves that can support things like towels and there is so much wasted space above the toilet. If we owned this apartment, I would convert the tub to a shower since I’ve taken one bath since we moved there, and have nice shelves put in. But alas, we are stuck with a tub. At least the Pumpkin will be happy when she gets older and can splash around in it.

I can’t believe it is June already. Time for a minorly altered website.

May 27, 2004

So tired. the Pumpkin is on day two of sleeping in the other room and not getting fed except for once around midnight. So far so good although she wakes up and cries a few times which is to be expected. The other morning I woke up and went in to her and she had rolled on her stomach and was looking out the crib at me with a big smile.

This morning Frank brought her in to the bedroom to wake me up, which I love. I fed her and then started to feel really awful. I went back to sleep for a little while and was sure I had a fever when I woke up but no, no fever. So I took a really warm shower and took some Tylonol, the only thing I can take for feeling crappy. I’m pissed because I finally have the opportunity to get about 5 hours of sleep in a row and now I’m sick. Hopefully this is short lived, whatever it is, because I hate being sick since the Pumpkin needs me.

Good news – is live! Now all I need to do is redesign to celebrate. Not sure if that’s going to happen today since I don’t feel well at all. Thank God I’m leaving early to go to the dentist.

May 25, 2004

We had a packed weekend. Friday, after work, I picked up the Pumpkin’s new Kelty backpack. The woman who I bought it from, had the coolest apartment in Dumbo. Her daughters’ room was a loft and the main living area was large and just flooded with sunlight. I noticed that the entire place was outfitted with Ikea and with the high ceilings, it was really an amazing apartment. I’m dying to know how much it cost but I didn’t ask.

Saturday we went to Frank’s sister’s for a BBQ. Frank’s aunts, on his father’s side, were visiting from California and Colorado. Frank’s aunt, Georgeine hasn’t been to visit his father in something close to 30 years. She’s never met Frank before so to meet all of us was extra special. Her son, apparently, is the spitting image of Frank, even in mannerism and her granddaughter, the Pumpkin’s second cousin, looks enough like the Pumpkin to be a sibling. The Dreitlein genes are very strong.

the Pumpkin’s counsin Trent (2 years old) kept offering her potato chips, which the Pumpkin will never eat if I can help it, and toys, one of which she took and held on to for a little while. He also gave her several hugs which were really, really cute. He is a wonderful little boy and I love the relationship that is beginning to happen between the two. Everyone was amazed at how well she behaved herself which is something we’re extremely happy about as she gets older. It’s nice for me at these get-togethers because everyone wants to hold the Pumpkin and I can get break while she gets lots of attention. I’ll add pictures in the near future.

Our first trial run with the backpack went smoothly. It bothers Frank’s collerbone but I can easily wear it for a long time. We took her out of it once we settled into the LIRR so she could look out the window. She looked out the entire time, really enjoying the trip. All day she was sitting up without much assistance and we had a successful cereal eating.

Sunday was my long awaited for shopping day. First we cleaned the apt and did laundry which already put me in an excellent mood. First stop, CVS while the laudry dried. I needed to buy a new breast-pump since the old one futzed out on me. I ended up getting the Avent Isis because as the Pumpkin sleeps through the night, I will need to pump to keep my milk up as well as relieve engorgement which happened Friday night – ouch!! It’s on the expensive side but I can keep it for the next time in case we do this again in the future. Not like the pump goes bad and it’s small and easy to store.

Once laundry was done, we loaded the pumpkin into the backpack and off we went. It was supposed to be a short trip, which I had mapped out with the least distance between preferred shopping venues but no luck there. I dragged Frank to Motherhood Maternity for some new bras. They didn’t exactly have my size so I got the next best thing which is working so far. They’re demi which is much better than the bohemuths I was wearing before. And joy of joys, a black one! Then as if Frank wasn’t suffering enough, I dragged him into Victoria’s Secret for some new dainties. There is nothing like new underwear!!! Then off to H&M which was a madhouse of epic proportions. Poor Frank, he was so patient. the Pumpkin screamed the entire time in the dressing room even though I made a funny song and dance while I was getting changed. Even though I got a sleeveless cotton tank, black capris and a black button up cotton shirt, nothing else fit which was very depressing.

Having not found much we headed downtown. In a store called Extasza or something of that nature, I found a really cute shirt – ok for work if I wear it with a sweater and pants which are cut for a woman, surprise, surprise. I have vowed to stop wearing mens pants. Then we went to change the Pumpkin in Old Navy, which, like Barnes and Noble, is always a good place to change a baby, and I found a nice black tank top, which I can wear with my shirts that don’t close but otherwise fit and a nice linen shirt which ties in the back.

the Pumpkin took the entire day in the backpack. She only started to fuss at the end and that’s because it was past her bedtime which we didn’t realize since we weren’t wearing watches. People all day were coming up to her and smiling which Frank and I just love.

I feel much better. I had so many skirts and no shirts because I can fit in my old skirts but not my old shirts. All I need now is a nice pair of sturdy shoes that I don’t have to wear socks with because it is too hot for socks these days.

Last night we bought an air conditioner for the main room. It’s huge!!! But we need to have the Pumpkin sleep out there if we want any peace at all so it was a neccesity. She needs to sleep a full night as do we! I am shocked to see how fast our tax return went but we’ve made some really big investment-type purchases as well as paying off the Dante bill in full. I also bought a website yesterday and soon will be operational. Horray for no more angelfire and no more ads!

And finally this morning I got an email that the Pumpkin will be the June Gothling of the Month on the BatsMeow website. They thought she was so cute that they’re using three of her pictures instead of just one! BatsMeow, by the way, is a company that makes gothic oriented childrens clothing.

Also, in an aside, I will be publishing my unfinished story in progress in easy to digest segments on the new website.

May 21, 2004

Ah… an eventful week. Work is purring away. One of my two remaining clients, the two who I can’t break with because they love me too much, j.k. has authorized a redesign, so in my limited spare time at work, I’ve been working out some ideas. After a few days, I have come up with something I really like and which reflects the business nicely. It’s rich in color and a departure from what I’ve been doing recently for work.

Last night, I did the bills which usually leaves me crying but lo and behold!! Our tax refund came so for once, we have money left over. I paid off the $2200 for Dante’s surgery. He is now called the “fuzzy flat screen LCD TV” which is what we would have bought had he not needed the operation. Then he comes over and purrs and reminds us why he is the best cat ever and totally worth the expense.

And now it is Friday. I love Friday. When I drop the Pumpkin off, I think happy thoughts about two whole days without having to leave her. It’s starting to get to me to have to leave her so much every day. Then I remember how important health insurance for us all it.

Our plans were packed for the weekend with a visit to Frank’s sister’s on the island and then a sidewalk sale but it’s going to rain so perhaps not the best weather for a sidewalk sale. Part of me just wants to donate the stuff but some of it is probably worth something so it would be nice to sell it since we’re still a little financially challenged. But that still leaves tomorrow’s visit to his sister which we’re really looking forward to since his family doesn’t come to see us that often. It’ll be the Pumpkin’s first LIRR ride which should be exciting. I am packing a suitcase with wheels to hold all her stuff. There’s just no such thing as traveling light anymore. I now understand why people get mini-vans. You just can’t fathom how much stuff one little person needs.

After much debate regarding a means of mobility for the little one, including possibly buying the infamous $730 bugaboo frog stroller, we have decided to get a kelty backpack carrier. Our building no longer lets us keep the stroller downstairs so it’s up and down every day with the Pumpkin, the diaper bag, our bags, lunch bags, tool boxes and the stroller which is too much to carry safely, especially for me on those silly stairs. So I found one for sale on for $50 from a woman who lives in Dumbo which is excellent for us. I’ll be getting it this evening hopefully.

It never fails to amaze me how your perspective really changes once you have a child. Our sixth floor apartment used to be cool, now it’s too far from the ground, although we still like the view. The stairs used to be romantic, now they are a safty hazard. Our apartment used to be roomy, now it looks like a toys-r-us threw up in it. We’ve lost our freedom and privacy and peace and quiet but the happiness of our little family with our little the Pumpkin and the cats and the turtle and fish, is immeasurable.

And, because I am inclined to think of myself last these days, I am treating myself to a day of shopping. That’s the hardest thing to do. It took me five months to get to the dentist for a root canal. Getting my hair cut is also hard to get around to. But it’s important to take care of yourself and Frank is coming along to help. Yet another Sunday he is being subjected to awful girl activities. He’s such a good sport.

And another thing to be happy about. Seems mom’s soon to be ex husband cannot in no way or shape get all the money he’s asking for. Looks like he can get about $35K. He asked for $55K and she asked him why and he said he thought that he was worth that much. I told her that I thought he was worth a kick in the butt but it doesn’t look like he’ll get that either! lol – But at least things are looking up there as well.

May 17, 2004

We had the best weekend in a long time. It wasn’t exceptional but rather just the best of what we like to do, wandering, hanging with friends and spending time together as a family. Friday night we went to Contempt to take our normal place at the door. Frank and I really enjoy helping out a great night and we both get a sense of wellbeing from being useful. The obligation of working is a great incentive to make sure we do get out once a month and socialize. Especially for me. Mom was kind enough to come and watch the Pumpkin overnight in exchange for cable and ice cream.

Saturday was recooperation and laundry and while it was boring, we got everything done.

Sunday I woke up early and ironed my sacque-gown while I watched Dangerous Liaisons in prep for our outing to the Met for the special D.L. exhibit. Although I knew wearing the costume was going to be tricky I figured I’d remain optamistic. Turned out that as the day progressed, it became too hot to wear it while taking care of the Pumpkin and nursing would have been impossible. Also, it was a little too snug given the temperature. I was crushed! So sad that after all these years I couldn’t wear my dress to an exhibit based on the very movie that inspired me to make the dress in the first place. At one time, I had four dresses but now have only two. One was recycled and the other loving purchased by Laura, of Morbid Outlook E-zine. And because it is from an odd century, one too late for the ren fest, I don’t get too many opportunities to wear it out.

Frank woke up a little cranky because hanging around a bunch of dresses all day is not his idea of fun which is understandable. But as the coffee settled in, he got ready and helped with the Pumpkin and we headed in to meet with our friend Julian. Actually it was after Julian called to confirm that he cheered up, probably because he realized he wasn’t going to be alone with me and a bunch of old dresses.

So with the pumpkin in tow, we heading in to the city. The trip would have been quick if not for the terror bomb drill on the 4/5 line so we had to take the 2 to the 7 to the 6. Despite this, we made it on time, which is a miracle.

We remembered to take the camera and got some really cute photos of our entire outing. When we got into the Met, they told us we couldn’t use the stroller so we checked it in and got a backpack carrier. We’ve been throwing the idea of a backpack carried around for a while so it was great to try it out for a little while. the Pumpkin loved it and since we have to now carry so much up and down the stairs thanks to new rules in the building, we might get one. Surprisingly, she was able to sleep in it fairly well.

Unlike most of their costume exhibits, this one placed the manikins in life-like positions in the decorated rooms in the European Decorative Arts galleries. These rooms have small viewing areas so it was really crowded. Some of the scenes were easily recognizable as from the movie and others might have been from the play as I didn’t recognize them. My favorite was a large party scene in which one of the manikins was fashioned to look as if she had just fainted. They also captured the “music lesson” scene perfectly. I managed to take a few pictures before the guard said cameras were not allowed with special exhibits.

My overall feeling was that the exhibit was a great way to encapsulate the period. They took great care in arranging the manikins in lifelike positions, capturing the moments of the film. I think they should showcase clothing in this way all the time, if possible, since there are many periods represented in the museum.

Afterwards we spent the afternoon walking through Central Park. the Pumpkin had her first taste of park and rolled around on the grass. It was really nice to just relax since the weather was awesome. We ended the day by walking around the city with Julian, making fun of tourists and window shopping. We are so happy summer is finally here.

We had a new breakthrough with the Pumpkin. She actually reached around Frank and gave him a hug. She also reaches for her toys and hugs them as she pulls them into her mouth. She sleeps with a little blanket and a stuffed baby dino-roar. It’s amazing to watch her develop a sense of choice.

May 10, 2004

Happy Mother’s Day!! I had a wonderful weekend. The apartment got cleaned and we enjoyed two wonderful days in the city. Saturday we packed everything up for a nice day in our friend’s community garden. First, we dropped off the rent and paid some bills in Brooklyn. Then we hopped on the train and headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up a nice tea kettle for my mom. I get a total sense of satisfaction from completing mundane jobs so by the time we got to the garden, I was in a really good mood.

After relaxing for a little while, we headed off for cheeseburgers at Paul’s and some more walking around. When we got home, we discovered the dish rack I had bought from Bed, Bath etc, was too small for the space. Otherwise all worked out well. I am six hangers closer to having a perfectly organized closet.

Sunday began with apartment cleaning. I got a good jump on things while Frank slept in a bit. We decided to get freaked out so I went through some more of my old clothes and found that four skirts and a few t-shirts fit again. Much rejoicing! Then we traveled into the city to return the too-large dishrack. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a bad place for me. Instead of just replacing the dishrack, we managed to purchase some nice transparent playing cards and a paper towel holder that will not fall over when we reach for a sheet. Bad store! I have no willpower when it comes to nesting.

From there we walked to PetCo to get Clutch a new vitalight. Frank got some filters and a turtle dock raft for him but he’s too big. All of my animals suffer from being extremely well fed. Even Yoshi looks plump! By this time we’re really hungry and being mother’s day it seemed unlikely that we were going to be able to find any room anywhere to eat but Pizzaria Uno’s was practically empty so I even got to have a nice sit down meal for my special day. We were making our way to the train, after buying the Pumpkin new sandles when my Mom called. So we met her and her friend John for dessert at a cafe on Bleeker and MacDougal.

Poor the Pumpkin was so tired. I carried her home from the subway. We were hoping she would sleep the night through but she didn’t. I can’t keep her full enough and she wakes up twice for full feedings. The past few days she has been eying my food. She watches the utensil intensely as I take a bite, seeming to expect some to come her way as well. I think she is ready for food. We’ve already bought the cereal and special spoon so I think tonight we start realy food for the first time. It’s a big moment.

May 7, 2004

It’s Friday! I’ve added a few new pictures. The one on the index page takes the cake for cutest picture to date. Usually when we get out the camera she stops smiling and studies it. I’m also happy to notice that she looks like a girl when she’s wearing a hat. Otherwise, there is a picture from the chirstening on her album page. Mostly I’m just looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. It’s my first mother’s day and I just want to spend it with Frank and the Pumpkin relaxing. Maybe we’ll go to the botanical garden which is still a decent place in the rain, which is expected for the entire weekend.

May 4, 2004

What a weekend! My birthday weekend was nice and long, beginning with a special dinner at Blockheads, a mexican restaurant by my work. Occationally Frank brings the Pumpkin into my office for a visit and because it’s late, we often opt for burritos at this local restaurant. It’s cheap and casual which suits us fine these days. Anyway, I had filled out a notecard previously and last week, a coupon for a free burrito came in the mail. Frank insisted we get the large caraf of sangria so we had a really good time. the Pumpkin slept until all the patrons in the restaurant sang happy birthday to me and didn’t cry too much when she woke up. To top off my meal, I got a free birthday flan complete with a candle.

Saturday, I woke up early and cleaned the apartment. Mom came to get us, our three suitcases and a porta-swing for an overnight stay by her place in College Point. We spent the rest of the day pulling up weeds and cleaning up her deck. Her soon to be ex-husband, whom we refer to as the ogre, subcribed to the white-trash homes and gardens so there was a lot of garbage to pick up. Our hard work was rewarded with a nice family barbaque and a long soak in the hot-tub which the Pumpkin loved.

Sunday I headed to church with my mom while Frank drove out to the island for a day with his friend doing boy stuff. Mom and I walked home from church, enjoying the cool and not-rainy moment. My sister joined us for lunch and my friend Danielle joined us for a shopping spree at Target. I bought the Pumpkin supplies and bedding for her new (slightly used by her cousin Trent) crib. Mom bought her some adorable clothing and now, at least for the next month, she is ok with clothing. Since I got pregnant, I haven’t really bought anything for myself that wasn’t maternity or the Pumpkin related. I treated myself to a french-provincial print back-pack like I’ve seen in the specialty stores for over $80. This one was considerably less and fits my days basics including the Pumpkin items. On the way home we stopped by a friend’s house for an impromptu the Pumpkin visit which was a perfect close to the weekend.

I actually liked the rain on Monday since I got to use my new umbrella, a very cute Nicole Miller print with shoes on it. Together with my back-pack, I really felt pretty and together. It’s been a while.

April 28, 2004

Today has been a prolific day. Made the thank-yous for the people who came to the christening on Sunday and have caught up with all manors of work items.

The christening went very well despite a few hiccups. The day started with Frank getting home at 6 a.m. from a night out followed by a minor bickering about the propriety of baptism of our little one. It’s been a tough issue since I promised God that I would baptise her should be nice and healthy and Frank feels the process is unfairly subjecting her to religion. It’s so hard to explain the importance of something to someone who does not believe in it. But I think a lot of it was that he was tired and not feeling particularilly generous and I was not going to give in. It’s the worst kind of issue, one you can’t compromise on. Either she gets it or not. So after expressing his feelings and taking a short nap, he decided to come. I said he didn’t have to but he wanted to be there for the Pumpkin, probably to make sure we didn’t do anything too hokey ;). The service was really nice and simple. the Pumpkin really behaved and didn’t fuss during the baptism and was pretty
good during the entire service.

April 21, 2004

Yup – I got exactly 15 minutes of work done today. Not entirely my fault. Lots of chatting and what-not. A work mate is getting married – chat chat chat. Another work mate is having a little girl in August so I was like wow! I have all this baby girl stuff you can just have as well as a bouncer and other gear as well as a baby clothing swap in June. I’m very interested in passing along things since we were so thankful when we got some freebies from other new parents. Our apartment is getting smaller by the minute so I can’t wait to get rid of things. the Pumpkin has two boxes full of toys, a bouncer, a swing, a bassinet, and a jumper. Soon, we will have a full sized crib so we won’t need the bassinet. And my mom has the playpen. It’s insane!

the Pumpkin has made some fabulous progress. Aside from last week’s roll over, she has grown big enough to use her big girl stroller!!! It’s like going from a stationwagon, not the sporty kind but those wood-paneled boheimeths, to a Porsche. And she can see where we’re going which makes her much happier.

So, Sunday is her big day. We’re getting her baptised. Again, like the wedding, I feel this is a very important thing even though Frank has some issues with it being a religious thing to do. But he is patient and allowing me this. I feel that there are worse things to be than Lutheran and when she is older, she can always go her own way. But baptism at least has her spiritually covered. With my grandmother’s help, I made her gown out of left over fabric from my wedding gown. I had enough so that I didn’t have to cut apart my gown which I would have done but am glad not to have had to. So I’m busy with work and catering plans since I don’t get much time in the day to do extra work.

Sometimes I can’t believe how my day goes. So monotonous and schedule orientated. But the Pumpkin isn’t. She makes giving up the excitement of unexpected things worthwhile. She is exciting and does unexpected things. I miss music but it’s temporary. Still nothing about a show in May but I’m hoping to hear news soon.

April 5, 2004

Yuck! There is nothing worse than losing an hour of sleep when you don’t get much to begin with. the Pumpkin is such a tease. Sometimes she sleeps and other times she doesn’t. I don’t mind getting up with her because the more she nurses the better. She’s laughing and making all sorts of noises now, mostly this little growling that sounds animal-like. My mom was in stitches as we walked around the ‘hood and the Pumpkin was going, quite loudly I might add, grrrr grrrrr grrrrr sigh snort grrrrr. What strange creature is this that I have borne? Must be from Frank’s genepool.

This week cannot progress fast enough. Thursday, my grandmother (omi) is coming for a week. I’ve taken several days off so we can have a nice long visit together. Saturday we’re going to take the Pumpkin to see the Peter Rabbit garden at the Macy’s flower show. Part of the attraction is a photo op with the bunny and bunny ears and make-up. No makeup for the Pumpkin but those ears are a definite. Next week we’re going to the car show at the Javitz. Frank wanted it to just be us but with the nursing issues lately, I think I need to stay with her for the day. Aside from that I want to finally get the extra clothes to the thrift shop and dust behind the boxes.

Now that my pesky cold is going away, I can finally start practicing for an upcoming show which I hope is in May. I have three new songs I’ve done in the last year and by now no one remembers the old ones anyway so it should be ok. Of all the things I don’t get to do too much, music is what I miss the most. It’s only temporary. Hopefully Frank will get a good position and I can quit work and stay home full time. I can definitely manage the Pumpkin and music.

We were looking at ideas for ren-faire costume this weekend and I tripped over this adorable dress pattern for a toddler. There are actually a lot of cute patterns for children and if I ever get time to sew again, I’d love to make some things for the Pumpkin. I think I could manage a simple pattern for myself with matching mommy-daughter hennins and maybe something fun for Frank as well. I’m definitely giving the corset a break given my new lack of figure.

April 2, 2004

What a week!

Today is a good day. Last night I finally got a decent night’s sleep. the Pumpkin slept until 4 which means I got 6 hours on uninterrupted sleep. I feel much better and aside from a sore throat, I feel much better. the Pumpkin doesn’t show signs of getting what I had which is a very good thing.

This was a very hard week. On Tuesday, we found out our little kitty Dante had broken both his hips. Our vet was baffled and sent us to the kitty orthopedic surgeon for further analysis. We were mortified since other than the hips he is a great cat and in good health. We feared that the surgery would be so expensive that we were going to have to put him to sleep. 😦 I don’t think we slept at all on Tuesday night. The next day Frank brought Dante in, his first kitty subway ride, and we met the nicest vet/surgeon ever who explained that the remedy was not all that bad and that he would have a total recovery. The $2,440 price tag was just under our limit of $2,500 so things were looking up. Seeing our concern of the price at the office, they suggested we apply for kitty care credit. Frank and I have rotten credit so we figured that it was a long shot but worth trying for. You can imagine how surprised we were to find out we were approved for $4,000!!!
Elated, we left Dante at the hospital for his surgery. The vet called me yesterday to let me know that Dante had done very well and the surgery was a complete success. Hopefully we’ll get to take him home tonight and we can start kitty physical therapy which consists of us chasing him around the apartment so he mends with a full range of motion.

Yes, Frank and I are crazy to spend so much on a cat with a new baby in the house. I think people would have understood if we couldn’t but he is such a young cat and a real fighter. We wouldn’t have done it if we thought he couldn’t handle the surgery or recovery. Besides neither Frank nor I had the heart to put him down. We just couldn’t do it. Not when he was sitting on our feet and purring, just saying please have faith in me, I’m worth it!

March 29, 2004

Good news! The pumpkin slept all night, 9 hours straight, Friday night. All during the day she was smiles and happiness. Every day I love her more and more. Aside from her being woken by her congestion, I think she would sleep all night from here on in. Well rested, Saturday we accomplished laundry and super food shopping. I will absolutely only eat lunch brought from home from now on and refrain from sabotaging the budget with deli food.

Unfortunately, at about 2 a.m. Saturday, I started to feel quite crappy. By Sunday morning I was night of the living dead with a 102.5 fever. Yuck!!! I was too weak to lift the Pumpkin. Frank took her out for a walk to get me some Tylenol during which I got some fabulous uninterrupted sleep. The Tylenol brought down the fever and we all went out for another walk later. During his journey, Frank tripped over this great babywear store and later when we returned, we bought the Pumpkin some sunglasses and a little sun bonnet. She looks like a little movie star and now her eyes are protected from the sun during our many outtings.

Last night, I got up at 2 to hook up the vaporizer since both the Pumpkin and I are so ver-klempt, and my fever was creeping up again. Frank was very quiet when getting ready this morning and brought me Tylenol before he left and by 6 am I was ready to go.

Anyone else would stay home. But here I am at work. Why am I at work? Two reasons. One, my intranet is coming out on Thursday so we’re in the final stages of getting it ready and I need to be here to babysit it. I am really pleased with it since for once, my design has come to fruition without the peanut gallery diluting it into something I hate. The second reason is that my grandmother is coming to visit for Easter and I want to save my vacation time for that. Vive le Tylenol for making today possible. I am treating myself to working on my personal site for the rest of the afternoon since I got more work done than if I had stayed home.

March 26, 2004

It was a tough week. My first full week since returning from maternity leave. Aside from a few hours early on Wednesday and one late yesterday, I’ve been here every day. Of course, Nina and Ecka at daycare are overjoyed. They love the Pumpkin and want all the time they can have with her. I noticed, when picking her up on Wednesday that there was a little boy about her age there. He was making all sorts of crying noises and she was answering him with little grunting noises. I wonder if babies communicate? Her little vocalizations come with definite specific facial expressions. And no, it’s not gas…

So upon returning to work, I discovered that my boss had rediscovered the company intranet. I had finished it before leaving but in my absense he decided to make it a priority and asked if I could spruce it up a bit. Now, I have a habit of getting very bored with my sites. If they don’t go up within six months, I am ready for a redesign. Hence, my personal site which is on its eleventh reworking. I just can’t help it. I see something and get inspired. So my boss says, just do your thing and he leaves me alone. Result: I come up with entire new design and I only have a month to get it up and working. And, with having to leave at 5 p.m. exactly to feed the Pumpkin, I have really been burning the candle at both ends here (eating lunch at the desk). But it feels good and when I go home, I can totally attend to the Pumpkin because I don’t have any clients anymore.

And, our internet is down, so no updates in forever it seems. But all is well. the Pumpkin is getting bigger everyday. Lately she gets in really good moods and just chats up a storm.

March 8, 2004

As if I don’t have enough to do, I am designing a new website. I want to change the focus to really be more of an online journal and photo and link archive. And I’m bored with the old look. Not sure when it will go live though.

In the meanwhile, I want to keep up with my journal. The peace and quiet at work allows me to update it often. No subway entries because I am currently reading The Corrections.

My commute drives me crazy. I can only avoid so much with a good book. It’s not that anything bad in particular happens but rather the overall pattern and structure of it all. I feel like a little blood cell going through cappilaries and veins, being rushed about by the invisible force of maintenance. On rainy days it seems to bother me more. During the past few days of warm and sunny weather, when Frank and I were out and about with the Pumpkin, it’s so much better. We are very suseptable to urban wanderlust. But I’m on a mission, rent money and health insurance for starters, and feeling out of it is only a sympton of returning to some sort of discipline.

I usually like Monday when finally I get some peace. It’s nice to be able to sit for several hours at a time and feel a sense accomplishment. Until today, it’s been ok and I’ve been coping well. But today I am having a the Pumpkin-withdrawl day. Probably because I didn’t get a good-bye smile because someone didn’t have a morning nap and was cranky. I live for that smile and it gets me through the day. No smile means I have trouble getting to the end of my day. I am trying to cheer myself up by reminding myself that this won’t be forever, probably not even a full year. Meanwhile, Frank will get her soon and once she’s with him, I’ll relax since she really, really, likes her special time with daddy.

I also just can’t focus. I should be working on work things, of which some, I have done. Unfortunately, I came up with a new design for my personal website and I’d much rather do that. I am aware that I am a naughty worker. Wednesday will be better.

Tomorrow is a whole other story. Tomorrow, the Pumpkin and I are going to “Tots and Tonic” at The Lucky Cat bar in Williamsburg, where we will meet and hopefully make friends with some other mommies and babies. I can’t wait. Any day where we get to go out and about is a good one and someplace new is very exciting. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks now.

My attempts at orange hair were somewhat successful. It’s currently a light peachy kind of color. Probably the best I can do with Ms. Clairol. Frank keeps talking me out of using Manic Panic because of the mess it makes. I’d have to buy black sheets and towels which is an unneccesary expense at this point. One day, I am going to throw caution to the wind and my linens into harms way and just use the Manic Panic. Until then, it will be the ongoing asthetic strife I endure – to dye or not to dye…

March 4, 2004

Our poor little the Pumpkin has been sick with a cold. Although it seems to be nearing an end, she is still congested in the early morning, which wakes her up ahead of schedule. This is bad since I was really liking all that sleep and she is a little cranky since she is not waking up rested. After her morning nap, she usually returns to her normal happy and perky state.

My favorite adventure in parenting is cleaning out her nose. You have to use a bulb thingy that looks like a turkey baster and suction the boogies out. She hates it and cries accordingly although as soon as you’re done, she is happy because she can breathe freely. I wish she could identify the bulb with easy breathing and not fuss so much. I try to blow my nose and show her how nice it is to have clean sinuses. Hopefully she’ll feel better soon and we can retire the snot-bulb.

Our new obsession is FreshDirect. Frank and I decided that we don’t have time to go traditional food shopping. Taking the Pumpkin out is fun but the logistics of carrying groceries up all those stairs is next to impossible. We ordered chicken with garlic rosemary marinade that they packaged for us, ready to cook. Besides being delicious, it made the entire apt smell fantastic. I hate cooking and trying to figure out what stuff goes with what and what to eat in general so being able to go online and order meat with seasoning already attached is wonderful. Plus it saves valuable time I’d rather spend with the pumpkin and Frank hanging out and relaxing.

I’m almost done with my third week back to work. So far, I have not been able to work a full five days either due to being sick or holidays. My goal to work five days next week. Seems like a small goal but it’s hard to be back when I want to stay with the Pumpkin instead and I can really get all my work done in four days a week.

Next Friday is a big day, or night rather. For the first time, we’re going out and my mom will stay overnight to watch the Pumpkin. It’s an easy job for mom since the Pumpkin will most likely sleep the entire time we’re gone since she is sleeping full nights these days. We’ll have the cell phone and cab fare just in case we have to make a hasty exit.

Since it’s been so long, going out to Contempt is very exciting and I’m already planning my outfit. Although most things still don’t fit, especially my club-clothes, I do have a velvet wrap dress that I can wear with a corset. It’s stretchy and roomy in the areas I need a little extra space in. Plus, it’s rather low cut so I can actually enjoy my new found cleavage before it goes away. I’m equally looking forward to wearing my buckled boots with the huge platforms that were off-limits during my pregnancy.

About a month ago, I had a mishap with my hair. The results were so damaged, I had no choice but to cut my hair off. Since it was an emergency hair-cut, I didn’t really get a decent cut and when it grew out, it was odd-looking. So Monday, I went to Astor Place to my favorite haircutter, Ali, and he gave me a wonderfully fun, super short, haircut, with spiky bangs. I love it!!! I’m in a delehma about the color though. Right now it’s dark red-ish but I would love to have it be a nice bright orange. So far the color eludes me but going out on the town always inspires me to test the waters so we’ll see.

February 25, 2004

I find that I often have the same results as st_theodora a.k.a. Cathy. Could we have been separated at birth? 😉 Hmmm… well, definitely kindred spirits. We miss you guys a lot. Good news – looks like we’ll be going to the next Contempt! My mom can’t wait to babysit the Pumpkin, well, not really since she’ll most likely sleep the entire time we’re gone. However, in the morning, her being there will enable us to get a few extra precious hours of sleep. What to wear, what to wear, what to wear…

My work schedule is painfully boring compared to the hectic the Pumpkin life I had been living before. I miss her. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we would have been able to go to the park and what-not. However, I know I need to be here to make the money and most important, to provide the health coverage. She and Frank are counting on me.

The past few days I have been cranky and last night I was just a super saucy wench to Frank and I have no patience. I’m getting seven hours of uninterrupted sleep a night (yea the Pumpkin!!!) and I’m still exhausted. Mostly unlike myself. So I think to myself, what the hell? Then I remember that I’m taking this stupid pill and those are the side effects. What good is a birth control pill if it makes you want to kill everyone and not have sex? What is the point? Maybe that is the point… hmmm. Anyhoo, as of today, no more pill. Later for that!! Frank and I will figure something else out.

the Pumpkin is talking up a storm!! Well, not talking but she repeats sounds back to us. We go oooh and she goes oooh. We say ahhh and she says ahhh. Then there was a giggle. And smiles. Lots of big toothless grin smiles. Then she covers her face with her hands or buries her face in my shoulder, all shy-like. Already we can’t say no and she doesn’t even ask for anything. We’re in so much trouble. Plus, she likes the tv. Not like she can watch it but she likes the colors. Two nights ago, she watched an entire movie with us, while I fed her and we did sit-ups. So much multi-tasking.

Man, two more hours to go. I suppose I should get some work done…

February 19, 2004

I am back at work. Interesting since nothing has changed here. I might as well have been here the past two months since my daily routine is back to normal. My boss is away so it’s been a nice easy week. Lots of chatting with the co-workers which is wonderful since I missed them quite a bit.

My work-mate who had her baby boy two weeks before my delivery visited today which was great. Of course, seeing her little one made me long for my little pumpkin. Then Frank called and said he just picked her up from daycare and they said she didn’t cry once and was just the best baby ever today. Yea the Pumpkin!!! Such a good girl. I’m so proud of her. And all smiles for Daddy when he picked her up.

To ease my separation, I’ve made a collage of pictures and put it on my desktop. Anytime I want, I can have a little the Pumpkin fix. Not as good as the real thing but if she was here, I wouldn’t get a thing done. I’d be way too distracted.

In other news, my two active clients have made other arrangements and have handled my “retirement” well. What a relief! Now I can spend my free time with the Pumpkin. It’s amazing how your life and perspective changes after you have a little one.

February 14, 2004

Where oh where did my maternity leave go? I can’t believe that this wonderful time is over. Naturally I’ve been spending every moment with the Pumpkin so everything else is getting neglected. I don’t want to miss out on any of those cute little smiles. This past week, I’ve had to adjust to leaving her with daycare. The wonderful ladies there just love her and with the other kids, she gets lots of stimulation and attention. But it’s hard. The first day, I just wandered aimlessly feeling physically sick to be separated. By the end of the week, I was feeling better but I’m a little heartbroken.

Of course, the best cure for a broken heart is work, which I am happy to get back to. I think it will take the better part of next week to answer and address my email and I have some loose ends to tie up. No more working late, since I want to rush home to my loves, so I’ll have to really buckle down and focus to get things done.

An old lament is that I find myself with little clothing to wear. Although I am nearly normal, nearly is the operative word. It’s a pinch. My grandmother suggests a girdle and although I didn’t think so, it might be a good idea until my jiggly tummy gets back in shape.

As we get into a routine, the Pumpkin sleeps almost through the night, it seems like a chapter is closing. Pregnancy was certianly an adventure, one I’m really happy to have had, and being a new mom is amazing. I can’t wait for what waits around the bend. For now, I really enjoy when Frank wakes us up to say goodbye and I nurse her for a good hour before getting ready. This is the most magical part of my day. How lucky I feel to have this as a routine!

On this Valentine’s day I couldn’t ask for more love. Of course it has nothing to do with the holiday. At night when we’re getting into bed and I’m there with Frank and the three kitties and the Pumpkin, our apartment is practically bursting.

January 29, 2004

I have no idea where January went. Too quickly. Frank already goes back to school on Monday and I only have two more weeks with my little the Pumpkin It’s not fare. I want to stay home with her but it just didn’t work out that way. The super nice daycare people understand so they’re letting me take the week before to drop her off for two hours a day so I can get used to being away from her. It’ll be great to have those half days in the summer when both Frank and I get home early and can spend extra time with our little girl. I can’t wait to take her to the beach!

Things are nutty but I do want to add pictures of her so there’s a link on the left to a page with pictures on it. It’s not great but it was the best I can do in the limited time I get.

January 24, 2004

Things are getting a lot more routine. the Pumpkin sleeps around 6 hours straight at night which is wonderful. She has started to make little verbalizations something like cooing. It’s amazing to watch her develop and grow. Surprisingly, she is already noticably bigger. I had thought she’d be smaller for longer but the extra sleep is a decent exchange.

Next week, Frank and I are getting into a schedule. He has to go back to school on the following Monday so we need to have our routine down pat. We’re both really going to miss the Pumpkin but we’ve found a wonderful day care for her with really caring people who’ll keep her entertained through-out the day.

The benefit of having things calm down, is that I can slowly get back to some of the things I enjoy. Upcoming projects include getting some the Pumpkin pictures up on this site, finishing the thank-yous and moving my clothing back into my closet.

January 17, 2004

Time is so precious. It’s taking me two weeks just to get the thank you cards from the shower out. I’m starting to change my habits to basically get things done in shifts, a little here and a little there.

January 5, 2004

Finally, I get to update the site. Our first few weeks have been very challenging but equally rewarding. I am amazed every day with even the smallest things the Pumpkin does. I could watch her sleep for hours.

Of course, with the blessing of a completely healthy little girl comes the difficulties of being new parents. Things like breastfeeding and the delivery, which I thought would come naturally, didn’t. It was hard to try to be a first-time mommy and recover from surgery at the same time. Fortunately, Frank stepped up to the plate and really delivered extra support and help.

Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Just doing the basics of feeding and care exhaust me. Recently, she has started to sleep for a good chunk, five to six hours, of the night and I find myself able to rest enough to accomplish things during the day. She’s also on a fairly regular feeding schedule and the diapers have decreased a bit so now, at quarter to nine, I find a little time to update the site.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that my outlook has changed. I am more than willing to admit and own up to (stick foot in mouth) that I am not the superwoman I thought I would be. Certain things will change most definitely. Aside from work, my hobbies will decrease. Being there for her and to watch her during this time is more important than quite a few priorities I had before. Again, more foot in mouth. It was a nobel effort to think that I could become a mother and still do everything I did before but ultimately the voice of someone who had no basis. At this point, I just want to be a good mother and make sure that Frank and I also get time to each other.

It’s not the first time I’ve been wrong and boastful and it won’t be the last. I’m too happy with her to care about being embarrassed. So as nine o’clock and the next feeding approaches, I’ll post these two pages.


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