Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Wknd 1988

Do you remember what you were doing that weekend? I do.

I was determined to have one last fling with someone I knew I would never be with again. Someone I loved very much. It was over between us. It had been since the beginning of that summer.

But a trip to Israel over the summer and then a few weeks hanging out in NY before school began in Boston, and all those feelings of regret and secretly hoping that I could change his mind, led me to disregard my friends' advice. I soon found myself making an excuse to go over and visit with him. Deep inside I knew that by being there, it wouldn't change anything, that he still wanted the relationship to end, but I missed him so much, I just wanted to sleep in his arms again, to be able to make love to him one more time. And I got what what I wished for - man, men are easy. It truly doesn't take much for them to give in, especially when you are a cute and sexy 21 year old.

But karma has a way of biting you in the ass when you least expect it. It doesn't like to be screwed with or else you'll get screwed.

A month and half later, I had to make a choice. And thank god, I was able to make that choice legally and safely.

Every now and then I will think about 'what if', but never with any sadness or regret. I've never had any regrets for my decision.

It just was the wrong time with the wrong man.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Pics (courtesy of my nephew)

Santa Cruz Beach

Raspberry Time for Noah

The White Knuckle Ride

Nat and Noah having fun in Santa Cruz

David and his dessert

The $1.10 challenge of Angel Island Whee Success
SF cityscape from Angel Island Ferry

Up, Up, Up that hill (it doesn't look steep here, but it was)

My Angel Island reward
My cousin Jeff and his partner Joe on the roaring camp beach train
My nephew Joey on Angel Island

Benson and Nat at the Egyptian museum in San Jose

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We Left Our Hearts in San Francisco

I just returned from a fabulous vacation in San Francisco. The four of us headed out west and had an awesome time. We were unabashedly touristy - not caring one bit that we looked so dorky in our layers of clothing, snapping pictures of all the exquisite flowers, hidden staircases, signs on the streets, cable cars, the fog and of course the thousands of beautiful views from every hill in SF. Since this was the children's first time there, I had of course make them hike up every hill, hop on the cable cars, ride the Muni bus/underground system, and take in a movie at the Castro Theatre (which was celebrating it's 85 bday.)

We toured Anchor Brewing Company and joined a walking tour of Chinatown and visited a fortune cookie factory. We walked the Golden Gate bridge and droved up and down Divisadero and the other very steep hills in Pacific Heights, and of course drove and walked down the Lombard's crooked street. We saw and HEARD the wild parrots of Telegraph hill and we visited my old apartment house, with it's chinese courtyard, on Taylor and Jackson.

We were very lucky because the weather for most of the week was warm and blue skies. One of the highlights of the trip was a ferry ride to Angel Island. The weather was perfect. We all rented bikes (my nephew and his partner, Nat and I, and David with a trailer for Noah) and took a breathtaking ride (and I do mean that literally in some places) up switchbacks and around the whole island. We had the most beautiful views to enjoy from atop of the hill. I still can't believe we rode bikes up and around the island. When I learned that we could rent bikes and that it was around the perimenter, I thought it meant a flat road circling the island's base. But no, not even close. It meant starting from the bottom and riding up, up and up, then down, down, down, then up, up and up. We were all so impressed by Natalie. She had a blast and was determine to bike up some of the steepest parts without getting off her bike to walk it up, like the rest of us.

We also spent the previous wknd in San Jose and took a day trip to Santa Cruz. We took a beach train to Roaring Camp where we were able to enjoy their neighboring Redwood forest. Some of the redwoods that we saw had to be over 1000 years old. They were the size of our dining room. We thought the kids would be more impressed but surprisingly they weren't. What they really enjoyed was the boardwalk in Santa Cruz and the carnival rides. We took an overhead tram from one side of the boardwalk to the other. David and I were white as ghosts and neither one of us could look straight ahead. There goes any plans for bungi jumping. Just thinking about it now and my hands and feet are getting sweaty.

To end our trip we spent several days outside of Sacramento. We toured Marin for a bit, visited the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, enjoyed some wine tasting in Napa Valley, and again, were blown away by the most magnificent scenery of the Gold country. We took a scenic drive from Sacramento to Sutter's Creek, where we took a tour of a gold mine. We thought we would be able to pan for gold in the river, but this was an actual working hard rock gold mine. We went down about 500 + feet underground. This mine is different from others because we could drive into it. From there we took stairs to different narrow tunnels. Though nothing remotely similar to the coal mines, it does give you some perspective on what it must be like for any miner, especially with the recents deaths in Utah.

I loved living in San Fransico and I am so thrilled that I could share it's beauty and personality with my family. Below(oops above) are a few pictures from the trip. I will post more later. Oh and here are few funny quotes from Noah.

"My legs are bored. They don't want to walk anymore."

"Where's the dumb waitress?" (commenting on seeing a real 'dumb waiter')

P.S. - Jack and Cruisin Mom - what's a trip to California without stopping in for an In-N-Out Burger. We saw one in Marin and made a special stop to sample these famous burgers. Well, let's just say, I will stick with the golden rule on this one. Though, I did like their t-shirts and bought one for myself. It makes a great nightshirt. : )

Monday, January 01, 2007

My China Doll

My little angel is surely growing up. I am savoring these moments with her that I know will soon disappear as she enters into her adolescence. She is only seven years old, but I can't help to think about this especially after the type of conversation we had tonight. We were driving home, and she told me that she feels that her life is just miserable. That she just doesn't feel right these days. She went on to explain how she felt by comparing herself to Mumble the Penguin, in the movie Happy Feet.

"Look, you know how Mumble was dropped by his father when he was still in his shell and when he was born, he couldn't sing like the others, but only could dance. All the other penguins made fun of him and he always had a hard time."

"I feel like that because I am always hurting myself, tripping and falling down."

"And I am always getting in trouble, just like him. My life is just getting harder for me."

" There is more, but I don't feel like talking about it now."

It's hard for me to express in words how that made me feel. I was thrilled that she was opening up and sharing with me her thoughts and feelings. That she trusted and felt comfortable to do so. Of course, she's my daughter, but even at seven, children won't neccessarily do this.

I also was very proud of her with the way she choose to analyze her situation. She must have been giving it a lot of thought and to be able to find that analogy and express and articulate it so brilliantly, really floored me. Especially because it's been over a month since when we saw the movie.

And I felt sadness - that she is feeling this pain. I didn't push her into telling me anything else, I just left it up to her to talk to me whenever she needs to - that I am always there to listen and so is daddy. I then asked her if she wanted to talk with her school counselor, which she only knows her as the nice friend at school that helps different children. She is actually a Special Ed. teacher but since it's such a small school, with only 80 children, she has many roles. Nat said that she did want to meet with her tomorrow, but was afraid that she wouldn't have time for her. I reassure her that her favorite friend will always make time for her.

I know that many people pooh pooh the times we live in; that we are too self absorbed and too into getting therapy whenever there is a problem. I think it's very healthy that our children are aware of these resources. That they know they always have an outlet and are comfortable with asking for help without the stigma attached to it. No way could I have ever imagined this conversation when I was a child. Noone even thought about sending me to a counselor when my mother died at age 6. Noone ever spoke about my mother's death or how I was coping with it. It happen, you moved on and adjust.

This is going to be an increasingly hard week for both of the kids. My father-n-law was diagnosed a few weeks ago with liver cancer and passed away yesterday afternoon. We were very fortunate to have spent both holidays with him, Chanukah and Christmas, when he was not too frail for the grandkids. We explained to Natalie about his disease. Thanks to
Randi for her words of wisdom on how to best broach the subject. Upon her suggestion, we made a clear distinction between being sick and a disease, such as cancer. So often we use the word sick and we forget that children take it so literally and it's very easy for them to become anxious whenever they learn someone is "sick." There is a fear that the person who is sick will die too.

Children find all sorts of ways of coping that may not make any sense to us, adults. We just need to be able to recognize the signs, trust our instincts and always have an open mind and plenty of room in our hearts so they will feel secure and comfortable to come to us with anything on their minds.

Just a little funny and unrelated sidenote - last week when Nat and I were visiting NY, we went into Manhattan to gaze at many of the famous department store Christmas windows. To warm up we went into Bergdorf Goodman(cuz there is no other reason for us to be in such an upscale store) and we ooh and ahh over the $100 earmuffs that were on sale and the cool purses and such. We made a detour to the restroom which is on the 7th floor, aka the China, Vases and other beautiful gifts that are too expensive to ever even consider purchasing, so lets keep our hands to ourself and be very careful, kinda floor. As we were making our way through, Natalie said "Mommy, this floor looks just like Grandma's house." Of course, I had to immediately call my MIL. It's no wonder that our Nat is Grandma's favorite grandaughter. How can any child top that. ; )