It's Just You And Me Against Me
It's funny the things you think you'll never do to your children before you actually have children. I was positive I'd never stick them in front of the television so that the television could babysit them. Right now my not-even-two-year-old is watching Superhero Squad (rated 7+) with her 4.4-year-old brother (no stranger to things rated 7+) so that I can cook their dinner and write this. And I would be lying if I said it wasn't always the most calming and peaceful time of the day. And if that sentence was confusing with all its double negatives, let me say clearly that this is always definitely and for sure the most calm and peaceful time of my day.
Yesterday at the park while I was mindlessly pushing said two year old on the swing, these two mom-ladies next to me were having a weird conversation. I heard some numbers, then what sounded like esoteric photography things, and then I realized they were talking about camera lenses. Imagine! Two moms on a playground talking about something other than babies! It was so awesome that I butted in and totally got in on their game, and it turned out one of them was one of the area's two big family photogs. Granted, the area is pretty small, but still she's like a photography celebrity around here. And she is so nerdy it's unbelievable. Like how she ever makes kids feel comfortable enough so that she can get a natural-looking picture out of them is beyond me. But still it was awesome to not talk about diapers and bad behavior.
We have been on vacation so many times this summer it's ridiculous. And very unlike us. Usually we go nowhere and people laugh at us and say, "Don't you ever go anywhere?" And my answer is always no. So last week we were in San Diego at ComiCon (holy nerdiness Batman, speaking of nerds), and I raced up and down the SoCal highways visiting friends and places (thank you Juanita's Taco Shop in Encinitas for still being in business and being cheap and delicious after all these years, and to Lou's Records for sticking around) and it was fun, but nuts. Staying in a hotel room with two children is ridiculous. I went to bed at 9:30 one night because I couldn't turn on any lights or TV, and I don't think I've gone to bed at 9:30 in about 25 years. Another night I plucked my eyebrows for half an hour because I could only have a light on in the bathroom. And naps were awful, and the plane ride home with a lap infant was awful, and I think you just have to make peace with the fact that you'll be exhausted and wiped the whole time you're on vacation with kids. It's where "I need a vacation from my vacation" comes from. Also, sidenote: San Diego is a gigantic monetary rapist of a city when it comes to the week of ComicCon. I know it's totally foul to use that word, but I can't think of anything else that comes close to being as accurate. We stayed in a very average Hilton Hotel room, like maybe the fanciest thing was a goose-down duvet in a stylish patten, but with no in-room wifi and no free continental breakfast, and to use the hotel's internet was $1 a minute, and the hot water ran out and I could go on. Want to guess how much the room was? $420. Not for the week, but per NIGHT. Oh, San Diego, Los Angeles's beachy step-child. You're really not all that. And the adults in stormtrooper costumes walking down the street don't make up for it.
Now I will have Chinese food. Stefan took my order over the phone again. I think he knows me now... he didn't even ask for my name or number.
Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown
I just ordered take-out Chinese food. The guy who answered the phone sounds exactly like the guy on Saturday Night Live who plays Stefan on the news, the ubergay NYC club kid. Would our local Asian food service fellow be flattered to know this? "General Chicken. What else? Wonton soup. What else?" to me sounds like, "Club Zero. Where midgets dance on top of clowns who dance on top of of mimes who pretend they're boxing micro-midgets who are lord of the dancing on penguins." Perhaps he would be excited. This town is strange.
I don't know about this place. We've been living here for three years now, and I think I like it, but I'm not sure. I like our house, and I feel like I've made really good new friends. In fact we just went away with a couple of them for a solid week to a place east of here and had a really good time. So even I, the person who always talks about how hard it is to make good new friends, has made some good new friends. I think the community's pretty nice, but I'm thinking maybe I'm feeling separate and disconnected from it because I don't have anything really tying me down. I'm slightly active in the mother's club, but not really, and it's not enough to get really grounded. It's like when I lived in the LBC after college and I didn't have a job there and I was commuting and just coming home every night to live and I felt really super not at home there. It's not exactly like that, but a little. I need something to root me.
Now that I have one kid in preschool two mornings a week and another who is (currently) taking a two hour nap each day, I have become vaguely more creative. Got a couple things in the can, some things that require illustrators and then programmers. If I say more I will totally jinx myself, so I'll keep it under my hat until things actually move forth, but I'll say it feels good to be sort of flexing that muscle again. It has been (and still is) SO HARD to say, when people ask, "What do you do?" to just say "I used to do this and this but now I'm at home with my kids." I don't begrudge the people who are cool with that, but I feel like I'm making excuses for what I'm not doing. We'll see what happens. The bay area isn't as bad as LA in that regard, like there are more people up here who are staying at home with their kids and when they aren't it's to go back to boring pharmaceutical jobs or whatever (man, have I become a judgmental prick?) but still... the internal pressure is strong. We'll see what happens. Probably nobody feels like they don't want to fulfill their creative potential. Everybody wants to take it wherever it'll go.
In music news, I am all about the pop lately: Katy Perry, Ke$ha, with a little Elbow and Adele mixed in. It's kind of a mess, but a fun summery mess.