Trip to the SF Zoo

Sunday Jack and I went to the San Francisco Zoo.  A trip to the zoo was on my list of 110 Goals for 2010 and when I happened to look on the website Saturday I found out kids were free in August.  Off we went for some more mom/son time.  We rented a little push Jeep thingy because Jack “doesn’t like to walk.”  He did like to stand in it, though, and stick his legs out.  Kid likes to give me heart attacks!  At least I got exercise pushing my 40 lb kid around for a couple hours.

The zoo was bigger than I expected and we didn’t get to see everything in our 2.5 hours there but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We took pictures together in a photo booth and Jack posed by this begging giraffe.  Probably only in San Francisco can a kid wear sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt in summer.

Strangely, Jack would not let the photographer at the entrance of the zoo take his picture so there are no pictures of the two of us.  He hid his face between his knees.  I could tell the photographer was getting a little upset that he couldn’t get Jack to cooperate so we had to make a break for it with my muttered apology.  Poor photographer probably wasn’t ready to be tested by Jack’s stubborn willpower.  😛

It was really nice to get two adventures in with Jack over the weekend.  I was a little alarmed when at one point Jack said to me, “Mom, you shouldn’t be a mom.”  I had to gather myself a bit before asking for more information about that statement, and I was relieved when he said, “You are fun and I like you and you should be a dad.”  Hm, okay then.  At least he likes me!

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Wherein I (Blogger)Name Drop

I haven’t experienced homesickness since I was 11.  That was the summer I was supposed to spend a month with my best friend Kristal down in Fresno-area.  I didn’t last there a week.  The following year I was fine and every year after that I looked forward to that summer escape from my daily life, even if it was mostly the two of us playing pool, eating Kisses w/Almonds and watching bad soap operas.  It’s really hot in the valley in summer, so we didn’t get out much.

Thursday night at BlogHer, in between parties, it hit me again.  I was across the country from David and Jack and wouldn’t see them for days.  I had no one to snuggle with and I was a little out of sorts in an unfamiliar city.  I cried talking to David, called Jack and listened to him announce that he was a magician before fluttering away from the phone, and then wandered around the Hilton…

That was when I ran across Ali sitting in the lobby, and that familiar face from San Francisco made everything instantly better.  Plus (if you’ve met Ali you know) she is the snuggliest, huggiest person ever.  We hopped in a cab and headed to the Schick Party where we were both bummed to NOT be let in because we were so late.  Bummer!  Nevertheless, we waited around outside and were able to meet Angie and Aunt Becky and their husbands, among others that my feeble brain cannot recall at the moment.  (Side note – I had NO idea how best to introduce myself to people…hi, I’m Crystal…um, Ewokmama?  Oh, so you’ve heard of me?  Cool, here’s my card anyway because I bought 500 and I have nothing else to do with them.)  After quick intros, Ali and I headed over to meet up with Countess Mo at an Irish pub.  Mo and I hadn’t met in person prior to this but it still felt like I was seeing someone from home.  It was a very welcome interlude.  When Mo left to chase after a friend, Ali and I wandered back to hang out with Aunt Becky & gang back at the hotel bar where Becky’s husband The Daver and I talked about work and corporate America.  We are Teh Kewl!  Or something.

Not too long after the group headed to bed, Ali and I stumbled into some drunk guy who wanted to party with us “fresh girls.”  Ahahahaha.  Ha.  Countess Mo showed up out of the blue (how does she do that?!) to rescue us because she is totally the mama hen.  She rocks and I luff her.  We took a short trip up to a room where Duchess Mama (I am apparently into the royals) was staying with some other awesome ladies (who were you?  am I following you??) and giggling.  It was funny.  I was drunk, though, so don’t take my word for it.  Oh, that reminds me of a funny story of my actual meeting of Duchess Mama.  It’s good, I promise…

So, we were at The People’s Party earlier that night and the set up was such that there were rugs overlapping on the floor.  Duchess noticed this when her shoe slipped under the overlap.  I immediately pointed out that she could TOTALLY get a free drink for that craziness!  So then she “tripped” over the carpet and the hotel folks swarmed her to make sure she was okay and girly totally got a drink.  Meanwhile the Hilton dudes discussed how best to avoid any future accidents and decided to place two chairs over the overlapping rugs…where a few bloggers proceeded to lap dance.  ‘Twas awesome.  (Did anyone get pictures?)

I can’t really remember what happened after we left Duchess & Co’s room so I will wrap this up.  Suffice it to say that all of this was just one night of BlogHer.  Also, there is a lot missing, like the delicious deli I went to with my roomies, the awesome dinner with my roomies, Nona, and Issa where our Irish waitress showed Issa how to use her iPhone camera, that nap I took in the hotel room, the surprise meeting of Jessica from Oh The Joys in the hallway, and the meeting of Undomestic Diva and Shuggilippo at The People’s Party.

So, yeah, there was A LOT packed into every day of my trip to New York and on this particular day the conference had not even started yet.  Still, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t have time to miss home.  There is always time for that.

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Dating Profile for New BlogHer Friends

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I met a lot of awesome people last week at BlogHer.  I didn’t get enough time to talk with those I met and I’m guessing there will be some checking out of blogs this week.  I am still recovering from my trip across the country and the conference whirlwind, so details about the trip may be slow in coming.  In the mean time, here is the profile that hooked me up with David nearly two years ago.  It’s a great way to get to know me!

I am always seeking out new points of view on life from others to test my own opinions. I like to examine the differences and similarities in all people. I love to bounce ideas and theories around. I am playful and not afraid of embarrassment, although I dislike being the center of attention. I am a no-nonsense type of girl who goes for what she wants and I’m passionate about the things that are important to me. Yes, sometimes I argue my point even if I suspect I’m wrong. I don’t give up easily!

I often get so enraptured with a subject that I will read everything I can get my hands on about it until I’m an expert. It’s typical of me to read all of the album lyrics and notes prior to listening to a new CD. I am a master googler. I love imdb and wikipedia.

I’ll know I have reached the ultimate in life when I acquire a maid and a cook. I like it when I can pay someone else to do things I don’t like to do; I feel like I’m helping the economy.

I am somewhat impulsive but I usually spend a lot of time planning. I’m contrary sometimes.

I can be reserved at first but if you’re shyer than I am, I might do something outrageous to get you talking. I’m honest to a fault and will answer any question. My answers will probably surprise you.

I hate to wonder if I’m missing out on something that has the potential to be awesome. I am independent and enjoy time alone, but also love the energy of a group gathering. At a party I’m likely to be found in the corner of a room observing interactions or engrossed in a conversation about the merits of various toothpaste flavors and consistencies (cinnamon gel is my favorite).

I’m not much of a cook but I bake fairly well and often. I’ll make you some peanut butter brownies if you prepare the main course. Or you can give me cooking lessons… Dining out most nights a week is perfectly acceptable, as well (as long as it’s not fast food).

I have an amazing son who fascinates me with his passion and his unbridled sense of discovery. He is inspirational and brings out the kid in me. He makes me a better person every day.

for fun:
I love doing just about anything with another person – life is always more fun with friends. Board games, dining out, travel, BBQs, bocci ball… I like dancing around the house (but I’m a terrible dancer) and pondering the oddities in life.

my job:
I’m an executive assistant at a software company. I like the exposure I get to various types of work, the details about the inner workings of a company, and I learn new things all the time. The money isn’t bad, either.

my ethnicity:
I’m so pale I glow. I’m mostly German with a spattering of British and a little part of every other European country that ever existed, except Italian.

my religion:
I’m highly skeptical of organized religion. I focus on being the best human being I can be and don’t feel that I require a set of instructions in order to do that. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is great, though.

my education:
I could never decide what to major in (Sociology, Psychology, Art, Finance, English…so many choices, so little time) and the classroom is set at too slow a pace for me. I prefer to read a book and learn while doing.

favorite hot spots:
It is my goal to eat out at every restaurant in the Bay Area. Okay, I can skip the seafood but I’ll take everything else! I enjoy museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, coffee shops…the Bay Area is a great place for all of those.

favorite things:
I’m an indoors girl generally, but will venture outside for walks or a hike with the right company. I like to bowl. I’m currently having a lot of fun decorating my apartment (retro yeah!). Wine is tasty. I miss the 90s music scene but am adjusting.

last read:
Lately I’ve been reading any vampire book I can get my hands on (anything from I Am Legend to Twilight). Patricia McKillip is my favorite (fantasy) author. I write and read blogs. I eat up Augusten Burroughs. Click Clack Moo gets a lot of play, too.  [Note: I haven’t read a book in two years so this part is out of date!)

I’m looking forward to getting to know all my new friends!

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Jack is back (and toys, toys, toys)

I had a pretty fabulous weekend with Jack.  I am *so* glad he is back from Texas.  The nightmares were really getting to me and I just don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have someone to take care of!  I get bored.

Friday we went to our first company picnic with David’s employer.  The picnic was held at Coyote Point and it was certainly a beautiful day for it.  Jack was all over the jungle gym and completely wore himself out.  He and I left early (for naptime) while David stayed to participate in volleyball and other team sports.

Saturday Jack and I got out the door early and went to Ross to spend my store credit.  I found a good deal on an 8-pack of games (Go Fish, Bingo, Dominoes, etc. – it’s an inexpensive past time, after all) that are decked out with the Toy Story 3 characters.  Jack got totally excited when he spotted an Iron Man toy (how he knew what it was, I don’t know!) so I just had to get it for him (I get indulgent around birthdays…).  We also nabbed a Transformers blanket.

When we got home I was put to work assembling Iron Man; I nearly broke my fingers trying to assemble it!  No wonder it was so cheap…  Jack loves it, though, and it is now included in the group of toys he takes to bed.  We also played our first game of Go Fish.  Jack didn’t quite get it so…I won.  😛

Speaking of bed, he cleared the blankets off his bed to put the new Transformers blanket down for naptime.  The kid is serious about this blanket, folks.  I’ve had to go into his room numerous times to straighten it out after he tosses and turns and it gets “bunched.”  He simply *must* have the blanket flat and smooth so he can see all the details (even in the dark).  The upside is that if I tell him he has to lay really still so as not to mess it up, he falls asleep pretty quickly.  😉

Sunday was our big adventure to the movie theater to see Toy Story 3 in 3D.  I had never seen a movie in 3D before and I was absolutely dazzled.  We all loved the movie (and there were definitely some tears near the end).  It was the perfect ending to the series and will definitely become part of our collection once it’s on DVD.  The theater sound system was a little loud for Jack and he got scared, but he was totally fine once he crawled into my lap.  It was nice to snuggle with him while watching the movie and afterward he would not acknowledge that the movie was scary at all.  He has not stopped talking about it since.

When I arrived to pick Jack up at daycare today, he was singing the ABCs to a newborn baby.  He proceeded to tell me he wants a little brother AND a little sister.  I told him to give me more weekends like this one and we’ll see what happens!

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Literary State of Mind

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I haven’t read a novel in approximately 2 years.  When Jack was an infant, I read pure FLUFF (i.e. Twilight) because I just didn’t have time or energy to concentrate on anything more complex and I only had about 45 minutes each day to read (on the bus).  Before that my interests lay somewhere in the realm of Literature-type Fantasy (Patricia McKillip or George R.R. Martin), Women’s Lit (a la Margaret Atwood or Jhumpa Lahiri) and bizarre biographies (ummm … Augusten Burroughs).  Mommy brain pushed me into fluff and then divorce/starting over made even that impossible.

I need to get back into reading.  I have been wasting too much time on Facebook games that are repetitive and provide no life enrichment.  Don’t get me wrong, zoning out after I get home from work is nice for a bit, especially when accompanied by wine!  But I end up zoning out for much longer than I intend and my daily reading list ends up being Olivia, Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, and Where the Wild Things Are.  There are some really awesome children’s books out there, but I’m a little sick of them, to tell you the truth.

After being pestered by David about it, I finally took action and went down to our local library.  I haven’t had a library card in almost 10 years, so it was definitely time!  I was shocked at how quickly the process was now that it’s all computerized.  It got me excited about the library all over again (when I was a kid, I took a paper grocery bag with me to the library and filled it with novels – those lasted me maybe two weeks).

Anyway, I checked out six books – a mix of memoirs and fiction to warm me up to reading again.  Jack is with his dad in Texas for the next week and a half (*sob*), so I am going to take the opportunity to get reacquainted with the wonderful world of books.  If you know of anything good that I have likely missed in the last four years, please feel free to recommend.  Otherwise I am in danger of choosing books based solely on the appeal of their covers…

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