Sunday, February 26, 2012

Filling the Void, but Losing the Dance Party Possiblity

When we did our remodel, a lot of our furniture got sent away. Sent away? Yes, I have a very sentimental husband (which, mostly is very cute and romantic) who has a hard time parting with things.

Look in our closet and you will find 20 year old pairs of drawers in his drawers. I am not a bad wife, I buy him new, fresh underwear, but for some reason he hangs onto the old scraggly underwear that has traveled the world.

Don't even get me started on the kitchen table. Before it was refinished, it was the running joke of all of my friends. It was noted on many occasion that the table wasn't fit to be accepted by the Salvation Army or resale. Now it is comfortable, beautiful and going to be around for a long, long time.

This leads me to our living room. It is an empty, cavernous dance floor kind of space right now. We've ordered new furniture, but it is verrrrry slow in coming. Piece by piece it is trickling in. Each piece was carefully chosen, but now as it's arriving, I'm having trouble parting with my potential dance party and packing staging space.

As each piece is carried in, I'm sizing it up in a weird, commitment phobe kind of way. Why? Well, number one, this is the last furniture I'm ever going to get. Ever. With my husband, this is it. I will never see another couch cross the thresh hold of our front door.

Each piece, I'm looking at as a long term commitment. Do I like it enough? So far, even though we picked it out, I'm not sure I like it enough to have it be that last thing that I see before I accidentally fall down the stairs and die.

My friends are funny. They say, "So what? If you don't like, you'll just replace it someday." Then I remind them about the kitchen table, and they quickly tell me how much they are sure that I will love all of my new beautiful furniture that is hand crafted in America and not by children in some third world country and that is why it is taking 8 months to get from showroom to my living room.

Not only am I being slow to warm up to the chairs and end tables that have arrived, I am sad to give up the idea of having the ability to throw a dance party. Not that I'm feeling up to throwing any party at this point, but I love the possibility.

I love having the blank canvas. I love having the possibilities. It's like a new found freedom right here in suburbia.

Now that it's filling with stuff, I'm not sure I want to give up my valuable living room real esate to just any sofa or chair.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Disposable Customers: Why Crappy Places with No Ethics Stay in Business Without Any Effort

We just had a crappy $108 lunch at Rockefeller Center's Rock Center Cafe in New York. This was for essentially 2 people to dine for lunch at a crappy table by this cafe's crappy kitchen.

I knew it would suck. You know you are walking into the Venus Flytrap of tourist traps, but how bad can a $27 steak sandwich be?

Well, if you include bathrooms with all types of horrible bathroom type dribblings, smearings and lack of toilet paper, it makes anything they serve seem bad.

Cleanseliness, being next to Godliness & all, is kind of important. It makes you wonder who is babysitting the staff here & also wonder why they don't care.

But they don't. No locals are hanging out at the Rockefeller Center Cafe. If you have zero repeat business, who the heck cares if the whole experience sucks? How depressing to work in such a place with such a work ethic.

Restaurant dead end. Even more depressing for the tourist who spends that much of their savings on such a careless group of people who don't care if crap is smeared on their bathroom floor.

Crap. My stupid mistake.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soggy Blog Runs On

Not only have our lives been turned upside down by our remodel, this blog has definitely taken the brunt of the lack of time and energy needed to actually write something thoughtful and interesting. Can anyone say run-on?

Yes, we are all running on empty over here. My husband and the girls left for Ecuador today. The alarm went off at 3:30 and we've been running ever since.

The Birk sub committee is off for a 2 1/2 week adventure. My oldest and I are holding down the fort. We are battling the urban jungle while the others battle the Amazonian jungle.

There is still a lot of change to come this spring. Hopefully, things get a little back to normal and this blog starts to look like itself again.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Application Waiting Game: Private High School

We've submitted all of our applications for high school. Our daughter has chosen to apply to 3 very nice schools. She filled out her applications herself. She wrote her own essays. She answered questions in thoughtful, creative ways.

Now, we wait. The competition is fierce out there. It's like applying for a job or college or going to a casting call.

All normal bets are off. It's not always what you know, as you all know, but who you know. I guess you might as well learn that sooner than later.

So, as stated before, we are waiting. Waiting... Waiting... Waiting...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Just About Friday: Renovations, Grand Kids, & Home

It's almost Friday. It's been such a busy week! I can't quite put my finger on just why it was so busy, but I have to confess, I just sent out the last of the holiday cards today. Yes, today, February 2. I think this is a new record, even for me. A week later, and it was going to have to have to be adorned with heart stickers and called a Valentine.

This year has been particularly hard. I don't know if it was 3 renovations in a row, having the kids get busier as they get older, or just plain old life fast forwarding, but it's been a challenge to keep up with everything.

Many people talk about being overwhelmed, and singularly, nothing seems to be all that bad. It's when you put it all in the blender and whirl it around, that you can't quite separate the little things anymore, it's just part of a breakfast smoothie. Well, that is how you slip the spinach and kale in there!

Like today, I've been driving around with low tire pressure, or so my car told me. I went to the gas station, and they checked the tires. They couldn't find a problem. I took it to the dealer and they spied a nail in my tire (wonder where that came from?). Of course, they sent me to another tire specialist to remove the nail and check my tires.

Instead of a one stop cure, I spent an entire afternoon sorting out a nail in my tire. Hmmmm. This must serve as analogy for something...

People say, "Aren't you so excited to have everything finished?" I think about this as the lights blink in the kitchen chandelier when our 15 year old son is walking around upstairs in his room. Not jumping mind you, just walking.

Yes, we are excited, but it's like we've been pushing the boulder up the hill so long that we are permanently cramped up.

There are moments when I'm surprised by some of the new spaces in our house. There are other moments that I absolutely can't picture what it looked like before. Most of the time I can't picture what I looked like before, I know now I just look a lot more weathered.

Now, it feels like we definitely have a grown up house. Grown up mortgage, too. Below, you will find a picture of my parents with all of their grand kids. It was taken at their house, my childhood home. It will be interesting to see, if in many years, we will have grandchildren taking pictures outside this newly renovated home. Our grown up home.