31 July 2007

Goup's On

Everyday I sit in front of my computer and wonder why the words just won't come.

Then about 5 minutes later I switch over to looking at cheesy gossip blogs and reading other mom's blogs (which are brilliant and I love).

Then about an hour later I realize I've just wasted an hour that I could be with Little Man. An entire hour of accomplishing nothing but the small thing of turning what used to be viable, gray brain matter into a soupy mush that might just at this very moment be leaking from my ears.

(Note to self- invest in ear plugs.)

I've just done it again. An entire hour that I should have been working hard or playing with my child has been wasted. The worst part is, I know I'll do it again tomorrow...and the day after that...and the day after that.

I have this delusional idea that someday the words will just come: my thoughts will coalesce into this amazingly coherent thing that will get me a job that pays enough money to support that sweet little guy. But all I seem to have left is mushy gray goop incapable of sustaining actual lucid thought and ideas.

30 July 2007

When Old Friends Turn Up Anew....

When I lived back in Ohio, I worked my way through undergrad at a local Bridal Shop. I was a commuting students and didn't really have a network of friends on campus, but the girls at this shop became those amazingly close friends that lucky people find in their early twenties. The even luckier people keep those friends through time and distance and life changes. Technically, I shouldn't really have been friends with most of them. On paper, we didn't have much in common, and the then-boyfriend-now husband never really understood my loyalty to this group of women. They weren't really his kind of friends. But thank God they were mine. Over the four years I worked at that shop, we commiserated over the occupational hazards of the job, watched each other go through bad break ups, rough patches with family, but we also shared in each other's joys--the new baby, the relationship that finally seemed right, the engagements, and together we celebrated each and every one of our weddings. Out of the five other girls that worked at the shop, two became the closest friends I've ever had. I've done a fairly good job keeping in touch despite living in a different time zone with AB, but once I went off to grad school and she got married KD was always harder to keep up with.

After Little Man was born, I lost contact with KD even more. It's hard enough to keep track of friends who don't return your calls, but it's impossible to do it with a toddler running around you. The last time I called K was in March, and she never called back. I decided to officially give it up.

Then today, out of no where, I get a call.

Friendships are funny like that. We'll probably never be as close as we were those years during college--too much time has passed, too much distance between us. That's ok. I think that A was right; real friends are those people who you can talk to after a huge silence and it's like no time at all has passed.

We live in very different worlds, but I'm glad that I still have her friendship. It's a link to one of the happiest periods in my life. It is a link to that time in my life when I was able to become myself.

26 July 2007


Today J and I had some extra time for lunch, so we decided to try out the new Greek place in town. For those of you around CU that haven't heard, Pickles is now Papa George's. Except it's also still Pickles.

I know. I don't get it either.

But if you can get past the faux Applebee atmosphere and the fact that the woman sitting next to you is eating a enormous taco salad, I'd highly recommend checking out their Greek menu. Papa George's has had a booth at the Farmer's market for the last few months, and I've been happily eating breakfast, I mean sampling their food whenever we go. They mostly did catering before, so I'm especially glad to be able to get some of their Spanikopita without having to order enough for 12. I think that the new owners are trying to ease into the whole restaurant shtick, seeing how the restaurant still serves the Pickles' menu. The Greek menu isn't anything overly imaginative, just the usual: Greek Salad, Spanikopita, Dolmades, Souvlaki, some sort of grilled lamb, and (of course) baklava. At first, the prices seemed a little steep--$6 for a side salad, but when it came I could see why. The salads have a huge amount of this delicious imported feta on them and the homemade dressing should really be bottled and sold somewhere.

All this is to say, I hope that they keep expanding the menu. I think they will--I heard the owner/manager say something to someone about flaming cheese (oopa!). But I definitely can't wait to go back.

21 July 2007

Just Surfaced

So I knew the ending before I started to read it, but that didn't stop me from enjoying every last page of the 7th Harry Potter book. It took me all day (but that is only because I have a very understanding husband and a toddler who seemed to be in a cooperative mood), so now I can finally stop wondering how it all ends...

Happy Birthday Morgan!!

Yesterday at about 3:30 CT, My brother's wife had their second baby- a girl- 8 lbs, 9 oz.

Congrats! And Welcome little Morgan Grace!

16 July 2007

Speaking of Procrastinating...

I saw this on someone at Panera yesterday:
Needless to say, I want it.


I am currently teaching a Study Skills course this summer where I'm trying to teach the students how not to procrastinate.

My Fitzgerald chapter is now 3 1/2 months late and I spent the last two days re-reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so I could be ready for Saturday's big release.


15 July 2007


There's a scene in the new Harry Potter movie where the students are punished by writing out what they will no longer do with magic quills that simultaneously cause the words to be carved into their arms.

Writing a dissertation is a little like that.

13 July 2007

Giving Up Baby

Since Little Man has entered into this world, one of my biggest concerns is how I was going to let him grow up. It dawned on me somewhere around month 4 or 5, when I finally realized just how much I liked having him around, that soon he wouldn't be a baby anymore.

Fast forward a few months, and someone seems to have replaced my baby with a toddler. Any day now, I fully expect to wake up only to find an eight-year-old scrunched up in the crib I put my toddler down into the night before. And then, I realized one day, he's going to start sprouting hair on that baby-smooth skin and someday he'll start smelling like a sweaty man instead of a sweaty little boy. And then what?? What do I do with a teenager? Or a grown man?!? How can I be a mother to that, I wondered?

This is an issue that has been weighing on my mind for a few months now. But then, this past week, I was walking to the bus on campus and a little squad of 13ish kids walked by with instruments slung across their shoulders. Being a reformed high school band geek myself, I have a soft spot for kids carrying cases filled with brass instruments that weigh more than they do. And then, a day or so later, I saw a 16-or-so- year old on the bus with his parents. "One visit down," his dad proudly explained.

That's when it hit me that maybe I would be ok letting Little Man grow up. I realize that he's going to do it regardless of how much I ask him not too and all, but seeing those fresh-faced teens and excited parents I can almost start picturing what my life might be like when I'm 42 or 45.

It's hard to think about your baby growing up because it seems like an end. I'm still not sure that I'm completely on board with the idea...but maybe I'm getting a little closer.

04 July 2007

Crave in Akron, or, "How Not to Run a Restaurant"

For those that know us, it's no secret that the hubby and I love food, eating out, and everything to go with it. We especially love it when we don't have to entertain Little Man while enjoying it (as absolutely great as he is at most restaurants), so when we had a chance for a night out alone while visiting the families back in Akron we jumped at it.

We had heard good things about this relatively new place called Crave. In fact, even my very meat-and-potatoes Midwestern parents raved about their experience when they went for my brother's birthday back in Jan. Mix the good reviews with an interestingly ambitious menu, and we thought it would be a great night.

It started off just fine. Despite the fact that the place needs some nice tablecloths to get rid of the fast-food table feel, the decor was pleasantly funky. After I got over my initial disappointment that the menu wasn't the same one on their website and ordered a deliciously potent martini with the name "Mama's got a Squeeze Vox," we settled in for a relaxing, child-free dinner. We started with a homey appetizer of granny-smith potato pancakes served with both curry and coconut sauces as a garnish. The salads were delicious. The Hubby got one with some sort of tasty Mojito vinaigrette and I ordered the melon maple vinaigrette. Yumm. And what could be better than tasty food with a happy little martini buzz?

But then came the main courses. H's looked great-- he ordered the seared sea scallop special. Mine, however, not so much. My Chihuahua and manchengo stuffed chicken breast was looking a little more carbonized than caramelized. I politely asked the waitress if it was supposed to be that black and she assured me was not, took it away and started another. A few minutes later she returned apologetically to tell me that the chicken would take about 15-18 minutes and asked if I'd like to order something else. I asked for the menu to take another look, but the manager brought it over instead.

Now here's what is supposed to happen when something is wrong with your food--I mean, my fingers are black from the burntness wrong. The manager is supposed to say something along the lines of "I'm so sorry about the problem, let us take care of it, what can I do for you?" Especially when said customer is paying about $20 for a simple little chicken breast over rice.

Apparently things are done a little differently at Crave. Their manager informed me that another chicken was already being prepared (i.e., don't bother even looking for something else) and that, just for my information, there was nothing actually wrong with the chicken.


I was so dumbfounded that the first thing my spineless little ass thought to do was blame the waitress: "but I only asked....she was the one who took my food away..."

And then the Hubby and I thought about it. And it got funnier...and funnier...and funnier. Because who does that?! Tells the customer that she is, in fact, misinformed and instructs her about what, exactly, it means to pan sear something.

I'm thinking, Lady... You're an idiot. I know how to pan sear. Baby bro taught me all about it ("you get the pan smokin' hot...). Hell, anyone who has ever watched foodtv knows what it means to pan sear something.

But it gets funnier--it turns out that she does this a lot. In the words of our wonderful and understanding waitress, "she gets worked up some times." Oh-- and she's not the manager...she's the co-owner.

I'm thinking that I have to say something on my way out. So I tell her that in all the places I've ever eaten I've never been treated that way and won't be coming back. STILL no apology. With a look of utter shock she says, "well I was just trying to tell you how we cook things."

I've gotta say- this does not look like a restaurant that's going to make it. I mean, come on. You're a quasi- upscale restaurant in Akron, OH. You are not doing me a favor by allowing me to dine at your establishment. The salads just weren't that good.