Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am having the most unbelievably crappadocious morning. Let me preface this post by telling you that the story I am about to relay is COMPLETELY MY FAULT. I know this, and I own up to this, but I still must vent. People, man. PEOPLE.

So I was dropping off the kids at their various daycares and preschools this morning. Delaney’s daycare is in a condo complex, which means the parking situation is less than ideal. There is one designated spot where the parents are supposed to park while they are doing the drop-off. If that spot is taken, then I guess you are supposed to park on the street. This morning, of course, that spot was taken. So I had a decision to make: make a big, time-consuming loop and park on the street, or park in one of the other empty spots assuming the people who own those spots are already off to work.

Ill-fatedly, I chose the latter. I knew it was a risk, but I was going to be parked there for all of five minutes and didn’t anticipate a problem.


When I came out of the daycare, I saw that the car who normally parks in the spot I had taken was parked behind me with the hazards on.


I had Evan with me and we had no option but to get in the car and wait. I didn’t know which condo the car belonged to and even if I did, my sense of guilt and shame would have prevented me from knocking on the door and asking them to move the car when it was clearly my fault for parking there in the first place.

So we waited.

And waited.

And while we were waiting, an older couple came out of their condo and I saw them shaking their heads and cluck-clucking at me. I could hear every word they said (come on, it’s a car with glass windows, not a soundproof booth). The woman said sadly, “Oh no. Someone parked in her spot,” and continued shaking her head to show her disapproval.

Meanwhile, among all the obvious judgment, I had figured out which condo the car behind me belonged to. It was straight ahead of me and there was a lady in there who kept looking out her kitchen window. She appeared to be doing her dishes or something but she was moving SLOWER THAN MOLASSES and kept peeking outside her window, leading me to believe that she was the one.

Finally she emerged – after 15 minutes. I rolled down my window, smiled at her and said “I’m REALLY sorry! This was totally my fault!” She just looked at me and stared at me with a death glare. Then, Angry Condo Parking Lot Lady walked back to her car and proceeded to take an extended look to make sure that I hadn’t tried to hit her car or anything. At this point I became somewhat enraged. I knew what I had done wrong and I had apologized to ACPLL and received absolutely no response. She had clearly parked behind me to teach me a lesson and was not going to let up until she was good and done. And meanwhile, was going to continue looking at me every 30 seconds or so to give me the death glare. You know, in case I did not know she was good and angry.

Meanwhile, I am trying to talk to Evan. He kept asking “Why are we not moving?” and I said “Mommy parked in this lady’s spot and now I can’t move because her car is blocking mine.” He said “That lady does not look happy.”

Welcome to the understatement of the year.

After her complete inspection of her car, ACPLL got in her car, took an exceedingly long time turning on the engine and getting settled, and drove away.

Have I mentioned that I totally understand this was my fault??? Because I do. But I also know that it’s not like I ran over her dog. If I was her, I probably would have been irritated too, and she had every right to be. But if I had been in her place and someone had given me a sincere apology, I probably would have gone on my way and not harbored such an obvious and unnecessary grudge.

Help me understand here: am I crazy? Who overreacted here, her or me?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

change of plans

I have recently come to terms with the fact that I am simply not a spontaneous person. I like to have A Plan, and I like to stick to That Plan. Typically my plans involve lots of mental preparation, some list-making (dear Lord, do I love making lists) and often, a reluctance to change. I think part of it is that I have two small children, and leaving the house at any time requires a military level of precision and preparedness, but only recently have I embraced the fact that it’s also just my personality. I am obsessed with being prepared and knowing what’s next at all times so I have time to wrap my mind around it.

(sidebar: wow. That makes me sound really fun. YOU SHOULD ALL WANT TO PARTY WITH ME.)

So imagine my surprise when Dave called me at 4:45 pm yesterday and said “Guess what! We just got two free tickets to the Dave Matthews concert tonight at Staples Center – and they’re in a private suite!” Now I can appreciate free concert tickets as much as the next gal, but due to my confessed lack of spontaneity I was like “But who will watch the children?” and “But the housekeeper is coming tomorrow, when are we going to pick up all our clutter?” and “But I really wanted to dismantle the baby swing tonight!” (see above re: how much you should want to party with me.)

Now, Dave is a really fun guy, and lacks my resistance to spontaneity. He launched a campaign: “But it’ll be fun! We never get to go out! When will we ever have this opportunity again?” All arguments that I could not disagree with. So, thanks to Dave’s sister who agreed to stay with the kids (yay Aunt Ryann!), off we went like the carefree, spontaneous couple we totally aren't.

And guess what? We had a fabulous time. The concert was OK – we have seen DMB before and loved it, and this time was not quite as good, but who cares? We were sitting in free seats, with free food and free drinks, on a Wednesday night, while SOMEONE ELSE was at home supervising the kids.

And no, I didn’t get to pick up the clutter or dismantle the baby swing. Thank goodness.

(**Shameless plea: if you know me in person, could you please vouch for the fact that I CAN BE fun and not a total stick in the mud? Thanks.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

tweet tweet

OK OK… so I joined Twitter. I am a sheep! A late-adopting sheep! But it is fun. And I am mostly managing not to become obsessed with it. Probably because I am only following a handful of people, so I can keep my time well contained.

Part of the reason I ended up doing it is because these funny things kept happening to me that were not really blog post-worthy, but the world needed to know! I mean, a few months ago, when I kept seeing an advertisement on a bus around town with a critical typo? And it was for H&R Block, and instead of “Want to make money doing taxes?” it said “Want to make money DONG taxes?” And I saw this bus over and over again and yet EVERY TIME was unable to snap a cell phone picture? Twitter was the obvious answer to this hilarious situation. DUH.

Now mind you, there have been others. But that one alone planted the seed. So, I bring you, Bearca’s compelling twitter updates: http://twitter.com/bearca

Saturday, August 16, 2008

this morning:

A pancake breakfast and a walk on the beach.

Life is good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

conversations with three-year olds

One of the best things about having a three-year old is that you can have a real conversation with them. Fifty percent of the time that conversation starts off with a tantrum or various threats such as “if you do ____ again, then I am going to take away _____ for ____ minutes.” But the actual conversations that do take place are sometimes absolutely hilarious.

For example, Evan has recently mastered the assumptive close. We’ll be getting him ready for preschool in the morning and he’ll say “When you pick me up from school, we will go to Disneyland.” I will reply, “No, when I pick you up from school we’ll come home and have a snack.” And he will inevitably counter with “We’ll come home and have a snack, AND THEN we’ll go to Disneyland.” Evidently he is well on his way to being a master negotiator (shaking fist at attorney husband).

He’s also got some commonly used terms that never fail to crack me up. If he sees a hummingbird outside the kitchen window, he will point at it and excitedly declare “Mommy, look! A hummus bird!” – a mispronunciation that I think is so cute that I refuse to correct. At least for now.

He is also fond of “translating” Delaney’s coos and gurgles. She’ll say “Gaaahhhh!!!” and he says “Mommy, she said Gaaaaahhhh!!!” And in my head I say yes, Evan, my ears work so I was already aware of that.

For him, the words “last night” and “yesterday” are synonymous with “anytime in the past.” For example, on the way to preschool we drive past the mall parking lot where the pumpkin patch was set up almost a year ago. He often says “Remember yesterday when we went to the pumpkin patch?”

Everyone tells you that time passes so quickly when you have kids. On that count, I think Evan might be right. I remember “yesterday” when he was born, and I cannot believe that this walking, talking, thinking and remembering person is my baby.

Monday, August 11, 2008

perhaps "cheese" should be a new olympic sport

I’m loving the Olympics right now. Who isn’t? As a former competitive swimmer, I almost cried tears of joy watching the men’s 4x100 freestyle relay. I mean, COME ON, if that didn’t get you going then either you simply do not have a pulse or quite possibly, you are dead inside.

But when I read this today, I nearly clapped my hands with glee. Finally, a way to officially calculate the cheeseball-ness of the Olympic announcers and their hilarious rotation of stock words and phrases!

Check it out: The Olympics Sap-o-Meter from www.slate.com

Friday, August 08, 2008

i'm bearca, i'm 34 years old and apparently i am wearing mom jeans.

I have been a devotee of boot-cut pants for many years. I don’t know why, but I was in J Crew recently and decided to try on a pair of what they call “matchstick” cords. They are more or less the dreaded skinny pants. They have a slim straight leg. I was mysteriously and strangely drawn to them and they looked darn good with the flats I was wearing that day. If I do say so myself.

However, I ended up putting them back, because I am just not a skinny pants person. Or am I? Honestly, it was as if the pants threw me into an existential crisis. I had never considered buying a pair of non-boot cut pants. But there is no LAW against it. Is there? Then I wondered, is this how people become stuck in a fashion time-warp… by never considering something new or different?

It’s not even like skinny pants are new or trendy or something. They have been around for a couple of years, I guess. I just assumed they do not apply to me. They are for The Kids. You know, Kids These Days! With their “iPods” and their “Facebook” and their “skinny jeans.” Wait a minute:

OMG, are boot-cut pants the new Mom Jeans?

I am obviously overthinking this.

I’m buying the pants.

Monday, August 04, 2008

faith in humanity: restored

Well, hello there! I think I just saw a pig streaking across the sky with golden wings, because I appear to be posting something to my blog more than once in a single week. Miracles do happen.

We went to the Del Mar horse races on Saturday and had a grand old time. I have a scientifically proven betting method. It consists of selecting a horse that is a) pretty, b) has an interesting name, or c) both of the above. This method is more fun than using actual statistics, and since I know jack squat about horse racing it’s probably about as effective.

On Saturday, my method did not let me down. In the first race, I bet $2 on Itschelseagirl to win. Now, normally I would object to the lack of spacing in that name for grammar’s sake. However, she was a pretty horse and Chelsea is the name of a family friend who Evan loves, so I went with it. And guess what?

She won the race! Should have wagered more than $2. Or not. Because I promptly lost my winning ticket. I believe it had something to do with the amount of gear and strollers I was lugging at the time. I was about to write it off as a loss based on the obvious futility of ever finding it again, but my husband and sister-in-law both encouraged me to go look for it. I mean, it was $24! That’s dinner at Baja Fish Taco, a nice bottle of wine, a can of non-chocolatified baby formula or maybe a dress at Old Navy.

So I headed off to look. And within two minutes, I FOUND IT! It was on the ground right where I suspected it might be. I picked it up, dusted it off, and proceeded to bet on losing horses for the rest of the day.

Oh well. At least those losing bets were covered.