Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2001 Journal

Hahaha! I found this old (typed) journal entry of mine from July of 2001. Jeff and I had just returned from a month long trip to Europe, the job market was total crap and I had been offered to stay on at my UW student job as a full time employee. More than anything, I'm struck by how much wiser I thought I'd be by now. There was more to the entry that I'm not publishing here, but more than once I reference "waking up one day and being 40" and all the regrets I might possibly have at that ancient age. And now that 40 is much closer than the age I was when I wrote this journal entry, it's hilarious how little has really changed with regard to my neurosis.

July 2001:

I graduated from college last month.  So far it feels a lot like every other summer for the last 17 years… but every once in a while I’m reminded of the fact that I don’t have to go back to school in September.  I wonder if every major transition in life is like this – a much smaller deal than I built it up to be over the years.  I’m occasionally filled with a self-conscious awareness of my new adult status, but other than this passing feeling, things haven’t changed much.  I can’t tell if I’m supposed to have an overwhelming desire to do something with my life like I always thought I would.  No one else seems to know what they’re doing, but I guess I can’t shake the feeling that I should.  My life feels full of possibilities, but I feel filled with the fear that I will do nothing with these possibilities.  I keep having these flashes of myself as a middle aged woman wondering what I did with myself.  It’s not that I think I’ll be a failure, but I do worry that I won’t have done anything to make a difference, that I won’t have any stories.  I’m more aware than ever that time goes by quickly and that I only really have one chance to do as much as I think I should.  When I think about how little time I really have to do all the things I’d like to, when I compare that to how old everything around me was in Europe it seems so small that I’m almost panicked by the brevity of my time.  I realize how overly dramatic everything I’m writing sounds, lately I walk a thin line between feeling inspired and ambitious and feeling totally apathetic and just doing what’s easy.  When I got home from Europe last week, I was going to walk to work every day and eat healthy, I was going to redecorate the apartment and buy a new, more professional wardrobe.  I haven’t done any of those things.  I walked to work twice and then borrowed amy’s car.  Basically, I’m lazy.  But I’m ready for change. 

I’d like a new job, but I cringe at the thought of having to update my resume and write a new cover letter and call people and interview and then pretend I know what makes one job better than another one and pick one.  I’m actually pretty happy at ELP, but I think I’ve convinced myself that I shouldn’t be.  I think I’m supposed to do something different, something cooler.  Honestly, I don’t know what I want to do.  Mostly, I just know what I don’t want to do, which actually helps less than I thought it would.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Photo Dump

Things have been busy around the Culver abode, so I haven't had as many photo ops OR enough time to post the mediocre photos I do have. But I've been such a blog slacker lately, that I thought I'd appease with a few miscellaneous photos:

First up is a trip Edie and I made to the University Farmer's Market this weekend:

Followed by a walk around the neighborhood. Edie had spotted this house from the car recently and HAD to show me in person. She walked right up to their porch and proclaimed, "We are DEFINITELY trick or treating here!"
Then she did an impersonation of the zombies behind her:

Running to the park:
Snuggling and watching an Eloise Halloween special on Netflix:
Brunch at Jessie and Clay's house (photo bomb by Jessie's recently acquired baby bump):
Clay and Edie playing guitar:

On Sunday afternoon there was the annual "parade of costumes" in our neighborhood.  Jeff wasn't feeling well, so Edie and I rushed up there after brunch. Thankfully, she was already wearing her Cinderella dress because it's in regular rotation along with her normal clothes, so this is not her Halloween costume, but we went with it because the parade was about to start and we were in a rush. I tied a black ribbon around her neck, threw on a tiara and viola! She added Minnie because "Cinderella always has mices Mom!"
We ran into her school buddy who lives a few blocks away, so she and Elana held hands and were generally adorable for the entire "parade":

The parade ended at our new park, which is a covered water reservoir that's been under construction for almost 2 years. The playground opened this Spring, but this weekend was the opening of the upper level of the park. It's still a bit unfinished and mostly a giant empty field, but the wide paved tracks will probably be good bike riding material this Spring.
There was trick or treating along the parade route with shop owners standing outside with candy:

Yesterday my parents picked Edie up early from preschool and took her on an afternoon adventure. This might be my favorite picture of my Dad and Edie EVER:
Spaghetti Factory!
And we finish with a grainy night time shot of our carved pumpkins:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rhythmic gymnastics

Edie's uncle Javi gave her a present this weekend. It's a rhythmic gymnastics wand. She calls it her "Paton" (As in "baton", only mispronounced). She's pretty much obsessed. Tonight Jeff showed her some videos from the Olympics of professional rhythmic gymnasts. She proceeded to put on a 45 minute long show, Each set/performance proceeded by her calling out, "ready? Set? gymnastics!!" Then she would go bananas with the ribbon and do all sorts of twists and turns, Even stopping to do a gymnastics wave now and again. You know, the kind where you stand up real straight and hold one arm straight up and do a tiny wave while smiling tightly and nodding.

Eventually Jeff joined in the fun; crafting his own wand using a slotted spoon I usually use to serve spaghetti and a ribbon. It's moments like these where I think that the world would be a better place if every man had a daughter.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Oh hi! Edie with red hair!

Monday, October 14, 2013


I should have known something fishy was going on when she took so long in the bathroom. She made a toilet paper tutu and was SO proud:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


We have returned from New York! I wish my report could be 100% glowing, but the truth is, New York was a mixed bag. On the plus side, we enjoyed 4 days with no work and no parenting and managed to spend almost the entire time speaking of neither. Jeff and I have always been our best selves when traveling/vacationing together and this trip was a reminder that we still enjoy each other's company, can get dolled up and have a late, leisurely dinner during which we talk about interesting things that aren't our child. We slept in, ate well, and slept in a king sized bed for 3 nights.

On the slightly less positive side, Jeff and I have apparently gotten old since our last trip to New York City 6 years ago. It was hot, loud, humid, and hard to find the things we wanted to see. We kept catching ourselves saying things that sounded like a parody of an old person in the big city. My feet got tired and Jeff's hips would freeze up if we stopped walking for too long. Oh my god we are so old!! Within an hour of our arrival Thursday night, we witnessed a dramatic car accident between two taxis while walking to a bar for a late night drink and snack. We wandered on in a daze only to find the bar we were looking for was no longer in existence. We trudged the half mile back to our hotel, hoping to swing by The Shake Shack, which we'd passed on our way to the (non-existent) bar. Suddenly a frozen custard shake and burger sounded just right for midnight on our first night in the city. But it had closed in the time it took us to circle back. I ended up eating a granola bar and going to bed.

The next morning we parted ways for an hour so Jeff could meet an old friend/colleague. I read my book while drinking a smoothie in Soho and a feeling settled in my stomach - this was the wrong vacation for us to take. I didn't want to say anything to Jeff in case he felt differently. But after trying to meet up in the almost-90 degree day with 100% humidity, eventually discovering that he was on WEST Broadway, while I, was merely on REGULAR Broadway - I could just tell from his face that we were on the same page.

The last year has been hectic, with insane amounts of work and too much time driving from meeting to meeting for both of us. Why we thought going to the busiest city in the country was the answer is beyond me. 'Vacation' 6 years ago used to mean adventure and excitement. Since Edie was born, vacation has been redefined to mean "FAMILY vacation", which for some reason is an easier target to hit. Rediscovering what kind of vacation Jeff and I want to take without Edie isn't something I took the time to reconsider. I went back to our old formula of good food + interesting architecture + excitement + shopping opportunities for me = successful vacation.  As it turns out, apparently vacation in our mid-late 30's should actually look more like this: nice hotel  + everything we need within a 2 block walking radius + no guilt about sleeping until noon AND taking a nap = successful vacation. On the plane ride home from our "vacation" Jeff found an advertisement for Tahiti that looked a little like this:

Perhaps next time, for our upcoming 10 year anniversary. Anyone interested in having Edie for an overnighter this spring :)

All of this is not to say that we didn't enjoy ourselves, because we really did. And here are the photos to prove it. On the plane:

Mount Rainier from our window:
Shopping in Soho the next morning:
Me, peeking through the door to find a secret cemetery in the middle of the city:

Every time I was rude to Jeff, he'd threaten that we'd have to go to this restaurant, which we decided was called "Horse Plus Horse".
Dinner that night was at Prune. A food blogger friend recommended this restaurant and it didn't disappoint. It only holds something like 25 people and we had to make reservations 2 weeks in advance:
Above are some fried chickpeas they brought with our menu and below are the dregs of our appetizer - fried green tomatoes with Tabasco mayo. Oh and my Aperol Spritzer (did I mention it was close to 90 degrees on Friday?) and Jeff's drink, which I don't remember...
Dinner - lettuces and herb salad, crispy chicken with salsa verde, and sea bass with leeks and cauliflower. Oh, and another round of cocktails...

After dinner, we grew overwhelmed with options and ended up back at the hotel bar for round 3:
This is my new "take a picture of me drinking" face:
After a major sleep-in, we ended up at The Dutch for brunch:

The rest of that day ended up less photogenic than expected. We took the L to Brooklyn and tried to do the Williamsburg thing, which we had been assured was going to be awesome. But I guess we did it wrong, because I thought I'd get to do some shopping here. The only shopping I found was a cute baby store with $94 infant pants. And also, it was very humid and hot and crowded. There were lots of great looking restaurants, but we'd just eaten...

We salvaged the day with 4pm BLTs at a random shop with this random courtyard, where I took Jeff's picture while waiting for our sandwiches:

We bought Edie a chocolate mouse:
And then got a major hook-up from our friends who live in upstate New York, but still have many friends in the restaurant world back in NYC. We had a decadent dinner at Grammercy Tavern, where I enjoyed my new favorite drink, the Orange Blossom and Jeff had his usual Old Fashioned:

When the waiter brought out oysters "compliments of the chef", I got nervous. Now, I hate picky eaters. The lists of foods I don't like is approximately ONE thing long - Oysters. I've tried them a few times and they just don't do it for me. So I immediately got nervous when these were set down because to be polite,  I was going to have to eat them all. So imagine my surprise when they were DELICIOUS! They were smoked I think, so they were warm. And so tiny that it was more like eating a mussel (one of my favorite foods) in scale, and the garlic and peppers and sea salt on top made them taste amazing. Seriously, I haven't been this surprised by a food in years:
Round 2 - Jeff drinking a Manhatten IN MANHATTEN:
I was too busy chowing down to take photos the rest of the night, but Jeff had seafood chowder and I had ricotta cavatteli with chorizo and then we decided to be bold and ordered 2 desserts. Except my obvious interest throughout the night in the cheese plates that were being served up right near our table did not go unnoticed so our server brought us this amazing plate on the house:

So then I ate all this cheese AND 2 desserts and Jeff rolled me home. It was such a treat. Walking back to our hotel that night:

On Sunday we wandered Chelsea and walked The Highline (above-ground train tracks converted to a beautiful park), which was a lovely cap to the trip. The start of The Highline:

From there, we caught a taxi back to the hotel, collected our bags and began the long trek home. Oh wait! That's not entirely true. First we visited Central Park. Where I proposed we rest for a minute on a park bench to watch a lovely waterfall. To which Jeff replied, "Oh you mean the one with that rat underneath it?" Because yes, there was a rat the size of our cat Mortimer under the bench I was about to sit on. And then like 4 different men tried to talk me into taking a horse drawn carriage ride through the park, to which Jeff just laughed and laughed. Hopefully by now everyone reading this blog knows that I fear and hate horses in equal measure and therefore understand why Jeff laughed. 

THEN we took a cab back to the hotel and on to the airport...