Tag Archives: Seattle

May Showers

Apparently we are having an unseasonably cold and wet spring here in NYC. I know that because people go out of their way to tell me. A lot. And many of them do it with narrowed eyes and a sideways look, as if to really be saying: THANK YOU FOR BRINGING WHAT COULD BE THE WORLD’S MOST DEPRESSING WEATHER. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST LEFT IT IN SEATTLE.

(Believe me, I tried.)

I don’t think I’m being too sensitive. But almost nine months in and I wonder when my kids are going to stop feeling like they are from somewhere else. Maybe never. Maybe mobility will be part of their personalities or makeup: I live in New York, but I’m from Seattle and was born in L.A. Or maybe it just takes a few years to actually feel like a New Yorker. And then you spend your life as one, because we all know you can never get rid of THAT.

In London a few weeks ago we all most certainly felt American. Even me. My children were two enormous ambassadors for the American childhood. I told them, while shuttling in on the Heathrow Express: Listen, boys. American children have a god-awful reputation for being rude in general, and to their parents in particular. So do your countrymen a public service favor just for a few days and be really nice to me in public.

It kind of worked.

But they LOOKED American and they WALKED American and they really couldn’t understand all the pleases and thank yous (“so many,” said one.) and in synagogue, Efram said: “It’s all pretty much the same, but instead of praying for the President, I had to pray for the Queen and some guy from Edinberg.” (I did not have the heart to correct him.)

Edinberg. Poor Phillip. Makes it sound like he’s from a town right near Hoboken.

I guess everybody is really from somewhere else. Even him.

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Filed under children, New York City, parenting, travel, weather

Rain

Today was the first rainy run I’ve had since we’ve been in New York… So I don’t feel badly telling you that last week M told me that he’d been checking the weather forecast on his phone and even though it kept predicting rain, we never saw any. Day after day of blue skies came our way instead. It turns out that the weather on his phone was still set to Seattle.

Go figure.

Here is Riverdale in the rain.

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It’s gloomy all right, but so far gloomy is still pretty novel in these parts.

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Filed under children, New York City, parenting, Seattle, Uncategorized, winter

Snow Shoes

My clever running partner in Seattle just sent me these:

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Apparently they will turn my sneakers into snow shoes once the abominable NY winter is upon me.

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Not amused. The temp is already dropping, and while it’s still sunny and crisp, I know what’s coming is going to (in some sick, sick way) make me pine for the mild piss-fest that is a Seattle winter.

Or not.

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Filed under New York City, running, Seattle, Uncategorized, winter

Don’t shit where you eat.

M says that after the bitch-snacked post went mildly viral (or at least by my standards; over 9,000 hits on the blog just yesterday!), that I have to make sure I follow up with something really funny.

But, you see, M has also been known to say that I may not have anything humorous to write now that I am no longer Suffering in Seattle.

I don’t know if this is funny or not, but rest assured, there is still a fair amount of suffering happening.

See this?

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No, an elephant didn’t take a shit in my sink. This, my friends, is what life without a waste disposal looks like.

I know there are people living happy and productive lives all over the world, and right here in NYC, without the use of waste disposals.

But when you’ve gotten used to one, and when you’ve cooked for seven without having to stick your hand down into the bowels of the sink and pull up handfuls of shnasty scum, you really, really don’t want to go back.

I suppose I traded pissing rain, way too much fleece, and suffocating earnestness for nineteenth century plumbing.

Worth it?

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Filed under children, home improvement, New York City, parenting, Seattle

Anatomy of a Sunday (or Why I am Bothered by Smug Bikers.)

If Sunday nights were the low points of my youth (school again tomorrow? really?), they have been quickly replaced by Sunday mornings (what on earth am I supposed to do with these children all day and why does every other family seem to be having more fun than mine?).

This morning was no exception. We spent several hours prepping the bicycles for an outing. It seems that the movers had let the air out of all the tires, either that or the bikes were trying to tell us something: DON’T RIDE US. THERE WILL BE ZERO FUN INVOLVED. YOU WILL COME TO HATE YOUR CHILDREN.

The major problem with bike riding for us at the moment is Francie. I fear she may turn 40 and still be on those effing training wheels. She walked out of the garage this morning and saw this:

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Immediately she doubled over in pain.

“I think it’s my stomach. Maybe even my appendix.”

To be honest, the sight of my bike in prep mode sends me into convulsions as well. I do not particularly love to bike. I’ll admit that this may be because I do not like the way I look in a bike helmet, but I think the whole sport is an ugly one. I know of no other singularly unflattering article of clothing than the bicycle short. And for some reason, all the wrong backsides are squeezed into them. Living in Seattle didn’t help matters. Not only did I get plowed down by a smug biker while stepping out of a yoga class downtown (nothing says ‘namaste’ like being sent twenty feet into the air by some scrawny guy in lycra, a messenger bag and little wire glasses), but I also spent the equivalent of three years sitting behind road hogging bikers on Lake Washington (again, all the wrong bottoms are in bike shorts. I know I’ve said it before but I believe there should be a rule: if you’re going to hold up traffic on your smug little bike, at least have the decency to have a good backside.)

I wanted to tell Francie not to worry. Like any other Sunday, it would be a good two hours before we got our shit together to leave the house. Time was on her side.

And I was right. Once we’d found helmets, sized them, and gotten the bikes ready, everyone decided that because I need to spend most of my Sundays preparing food that nobody will eat, it was time for a snack even thought we had only just finished the third round of breakfast. We then did our famous snack kabuki dance. I made everyone yogurt sundaes, felt momentarily smug about them, and then made a second round minus a different ingredient for each child (no honey for Sid, no granola for Fi, and so on.) While I am not looking, M finished everyone’s rejects:

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We fill up water bottles, spend another hour putting the bikes on the car and go.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have bothered. We hit the Van Cortlandt park bike path. M rode with Fi on the tagalong, Bennett pulled Sid in the trailer (Efram was out for the day and we felt light and springy with only four kids), and I got lumped with Her Lady of the Perpetual Piss and Moan. She road for 15 minutes at snails pace, and then broke down.

“I can’t go any further.”

She will not be convinced otherwise. She has used up what little physical energy she has. In her mind, climbing in and out of the minivan was enough exertion for any day.

I then spent the next 30 minutes trying to get her to ride about 100 feet. I tried everything: cheap compliments (good pedaling!), shame (Fi is going to be riding a bike before you are!) empty threats, (I will leave you here if I have to), begging (you can have that disgusting candy that sprays liquid sugar all over your mouth), and then resorted to tried and true yelling:

“Just pedal the bloody bike!”

Of course, at this moment, I am passed by a family of smug bikers. The mother glares and me, hollering at poor little Francie on her shitty little princess bike. She has cried so much her shirt is soaked through. There is mucous everywhere. She tells me that she hates bike riding and she doesn’t care if she never learns to bike without those effing wheels, and I find myself nodding in agreement. At one point I ride off, hoping that fear motivates her to pedal after me, but it does not work. And because the Bronx is where potholes go to multiply, she hits one and almost tumbles.

“I fell! I fell!” she yelled.

She hasn’t fallen. Rather, she’s just tipped ever so slightly. But at this point we’ve both lost our shit and I’m about to lie down on the bike path in protest when Bennett shows up. And saves the day:

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I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, but I have to go anyway. I have to serve dinner that nobody will eat.

I don’t like Sundays.

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Moving mishaps.

I’d been intending on chronicling the move, if only in pictures. But that plan derailed itself when Fiona dropped my phone into a toilet. (In a moment of weakness, I told her she could play for 15 minutes if she let me nap. I was so, so very tired and would have traded just about anything for a power rest.. maybe even her. Note to self: Do not plug your phone in next to a toilet. I will probably get this right at the same time I learn NEVER to smell underwear (or pull-ups, I did that this very morning) to see if they are clean.)

We are now in the thick of the unpack, the part of the process which has me wandering from room to room in a haze of panic and confusion. It doesn’t help matters that the tiny blue notebook I’d been using in lieu of the iPhone went and got itself lost this afternoon. (It seems the folks at ATT thought we were trying to defraud them when we changed our address and then promptly ordered a new phone, and so they have kept me just about technology free for several long days now.)

Without the phone you cannot see a picture of the dining room table that went and got itself cracked in two during the move – the very same table that did the same thing en route from LA to Seattle.

But I don’t need a phone to tell you that yesterday Sidney asked me what I was doing.

Me: I’m unpacking china.

Sidney: You know, china is an inappropriate word.

Enter Fiona (as if on cue): That’s Va-china Sidney.

Sidney: Oh. Va-china.

Speaking of the nether regions, in a giant karmic last laugh, it seems that while M has moved us with 5,632 rolls of paper towel, we have come here with nary a roll of toilet paper. In a panic I used some tissues I found in the bathroom.

Some menthol scented tissues I bought in France last summer.

Note to self: If you want a spring in your step, there are probably better ways of going about it than wiping with a minty tissue.

So noted.

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Filed under children, moving, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized

New York.

We left Seattle almost two weeks ago and tooled around on the east coast, getting the kids on local time, and getting our heads in the game. It turns out that jet lag isn’t just a matter of time, but also a matter of head space. We headed to Hilton Head, South Carolina where the kids (and we) spent several days with our minds in Seattle. Days rolled on and the white sand beaches worked their magic and eventually we began to look forward. We’re spending a weekend with friends in Massachusetts and tomorrow we drive to New York.

New York.

New York.

Here is a list of improbable things I’d envisioned M saying before I imagined him saying, “You know, we really ought to pick the kids and up and move to New York City.”

1. “I’m full. Not another bite, please.”

2. “Didn’t you carry that purse last season?”

3. “Throw that out.”

4.  “Everyone has dropped her phone in the toilet once or twice. Don’t sweat it.”

5. “I think it’s time for another baby.”

And here we are, hours away from being New Yorkers.

And it wasn’t even my idea.

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Filed under children, moving, New York City, parenting, Uncategorized