Monday, June 30, 2008

Just 'acause

Ok, I admit...this photo is old. But look at all the cute! It really shows how much this lady has grown in such a short time...this photo was taken during our visit at the end of april. Now she's bigger, and doesn't eat 'babyfood' anymore...she eats whatever we're eating. Anyway, she's napping at the moment, as is Baba, and I want to join them so I just wanted to post this to say HEY, hope everyone is well, and here is another picture that was, expensively but happily, saved by tekserve. (long story. moral: pay for the expensive backup system BEFORE you pay for the even more expensive recovery job.) Here is Cadence with her Great-Grandma Carol and Great-Grandpa Ed!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hello hello hello.

It's been just about a week since our family left New York.  A lot has happened since, from packing up to saying goodbyes to driving to arriving.  More than I'm probably capable of actually relaying or summing up.  I tried writing something last night, but kept getting stuck trying to say everything and, as a result, not really saying anything at all.

With the help of many wonderful friends, we were able to get the vast majority of our stuff packed away and stuffed in our bedroom for the movers to take.  We ended up having about twice as much stuff as we expected to have, and really underlined the realization we kept coming to that we had a ridiculous amount of things just piled up in our lives.  This is after we sold off a good amount in our silent auction and throwing away tons of detritus.

Anyway, we gave away stuff on Craigslist, donated more to a Catholic thrift store a block away and sold a bunch of books at the Strand.  That left us with a small mound of things that we needed to get packed into the minivan.  Unfortunately, we didn't really take any pictures of our handiwork... this one of Cadence checking her email is about the best I could find.  And really, a cute picture of Cadence is better than a picture of an empty apartment.

To make a long part of a longer story shorter, we packed up the plants, the three cats, ourselves and more bags than I realized into the van. Luckily, Kate's dad brought the burger pod (I'm not actually sure what they're officially called... it's that thing that sits on top of cars and looks like a giant container for a burger) and we were able to fit everything in, and still have room to lay out in the middle of the van.

We had a bit of a send off as we packed up the van, with a group of probably underaged, drunk girls making a scene, with one getting chased off by the liquor store owner on the ground floor of our building.  She stalked away and tried closing the back of the van on Kate as she went.  That pissed Kate off and she warned the rest of the group that there would be serious consequences if the other girl came back.  The group ended up taking the warning and Cadence diffused the situation with some hardcore cute.

In the end, I walked around our empty apartment of two and a half years, and checked to see we hadn't forgotten anything.  It felt empty, like all the life had been squeezed out and as I turned off the lights for the last time I felt the end of a chapter.

We finished packing things up and headed out after dropping off our step-stool, which wouldn't fit comfortably with Erik and off we went.

The cats were... perturbed.  Carmen and Puy didn't say much of anything while Lily started meowing non-stop as if asking, "what the hell is going on.... really what's going on... where are you taking me... what's happening... HEY!!!".  Scott ended up picking up her crate and comforting her as we drove downtown and out of the city.

The drive was long.  Very long.  In the hopes of minimizing the anger we expected from the lady, we drove through the night taking shifts.  To our pleasure, Cadence ended up taking the entire trip in stride, as much as she could.  She slept most of the way and hardly fussed, despite being strapped in to the car for hours on end.

So, the drive was long but relatively uneventful.  We missed an exit in Pennsylvania, and didn't realize it for a couple hours, so we had to change our route.  At one point we left the cooler at a rest stop and had to turn around to pick it up.  But other than those couple of minor setbacks, we had a smooth drive down.  We let the cats out of the crate and put them on leashes so they couldn't run under the pedals or make a break for it when we stopped.  Lily made the most of it and crawled around the car.  Carmen seemed content to cower in the back of her crate most of the time, and Puy was motion sick and lay catatonic for most of the ride.

We were rather pleased to find that the long drive helped to foster a kinship between the three kitties that had been lacking.  Lily, who was taking the drive the best, would go from one cat to the other cheering them up and comforting them.  Even now that we've been at our destination for a few days, the cats seem to have maintained that sense of goodwill.  It's just like in the movies.

So, that was our trip, sort of.  Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself, but I may have just sucked all the life out of our drive down.  There was a lot of long stretches of road, and obscene gas prices, but we did it and it wasn't so bad.  Thanks for the music, Ian.

I've gotten about as far as I can in a single sitting, so I'll leave you with a preview of our arrival in our new home, which I'll try and get to soon.

Friday, June 20, 2008


We're sitting in our living room in KY, my sister and her boyfriend watching Pan's Labyrinth...I'm trying to leave them be and do the things that I need to do, but I keep getting sucked in and lost.  I am filled with the kind of inspiration I haven't felt in ages...I love this movie, I love it's wonder, its artistry...This is what I want to do with my life...mixing reality with fantasy in a way that makes people feel, think, explore, release...there is power and beauty in this art form that I need in my life.  I am  determined, and I know that as long as I hang on to that determination and put the work in, I will succeed.
I need this in my life.  I will find a way to do it.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In which I try to cover a lot, but mostly talk about cake

As our friend Lena said regarding her own move, moving is eating our life.  We've been super busy, and there is so much we've wanted to post about, but then, the whole being super busy thing kinda precludes having time to post and time gets away and there's more to post about and less time to do it...and now I'm wasting time talking about it.
In any case, Cadie is asleep on my chest at the moment and she needs her rest, so i'm going to use the opportunity to post a hodge podge of stuff here, even though I really want to devote full entries to these events and so much more...but, better little bits than none at all.  So:

Thursday was our second wedding anniversary.  
There is a western wedding tradition where the newly married couple freezes the the top tier of their wedding cake to share on their first anniversary.  When the catering hall gave it to us, I kind of figured they had prepared it for freezing, since they'd been so thorough with everything else, but in any case James's mom generously volunteered to take care of it for us, so off we went on our honeymoon with nary a glance at the cake.  Fast forward to our first anniversary.  James if working full time, I'm 8 months pregnant and working 2 full time jobs, our 'celebration' is an exchange of unwrapped gifts and a nice dinner before getting back to work and then to bed.  a few months later, when freezing some breastmilk for our infant daughter, we notice a big box is taking up the freezer.  Oops, we forgot to eat our cake.  Oh well, we say what's another year in the freezer, right?  
Fast forward to this year.  I remember the Cake!  In time to defrost it! I do my research into how to defrost deeply frozen cake, and find that after two hours in the fridge i should unwrap it and put it back to continue thawing.  I take it out, open the box and...oops.  So that is what a happens to a cake after being in the freezer for two years, with nothing between it and the frosty air but a flimsy layer of cardboard...
Once he got the news, James realized that his mom really isn't familiar with western wedding traditions, and we really shouldn't have left her to figure it out on her own, unaided.  And really, we should have just opened the box and checked, anyhow.

Well, I was determined to try some anyway.  Because it was my wedding cake, dern it, and we'd been saving it for two years.  So I tried some.  (so did James.)  Well, the strawberry part actually tasted decent...just like frozen strawberries.  the rest...well...
At least James had the foresight to visit Veniero's and got us a luscious chocolate truffle cake, complete with raspberry, buttercream, and smooth chocolatey goodness.

Cadence has awoken and my time is up, but before I go, here's a quick overview of some of the other things I meant to talk about:

Last night, after (the aforementioned) Lena and Zack came over and made us some awesome homemade mac & cheese, we went with a whole bunch of folks to Grimaldi's for one last hurrah. Cadence had her first bit of pizza (no tomatoes, and she pulled the mozarella off the crust. but awesome crust.) there:

That's Danial and Poonam, in the background.

And then we went over to the waterfont, where we saw London, and then got caught in a thunderstorm.  What was most amazing:  in the midst of the thunderstorm, from barges just off the shore, a huge, unannounced, utterly intense professional fireworks display filled the night!  I hope to post more photos from this later on, we got some AMAZING shots, but for now here's just a couple:

It was really stunning.  (that's our good friends Meg and Chad in the first pic with James, up from Philly to see us off!)  After that we headed over to the Chinatown Ice Ceam Factory, and then hit up east village teahouse Cha-an to close the evening.
time to go get Lunch!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

quick overview of much togetherness

life has been pretty, well, crazy, what with the move looming next week. we've been doing lots of visiting lately, trying to see as many people as we possibly can before we hit the road. I don't have much time, so here is just a brief summary of what we've been up to, in photo form:

We ate at better burger, and Cadence had her first encounter with a straw. She actually got some!!

We visited good friend and agent can tell by this amazing photo that great fun was had by all!!!

This was a great afternoon, when Cadence met Cadence! Cadence (Dubus) is an old friend of mine from Theater in the Open. We haven't seen each other since I was like 13 and she 15. So this was really cool.

Thursday saw a much needed evening with Francis!! I love the look they're sharing here. He brought the quote books from college, and we had great fun revisiting some old, very random, memories.

Friday, we went to the beach bar with the wonderful folks from James's office.

The lady got her first feel of sand!!

I love this photo...vibrant souls! Brian was bouncing and dancing with Cadence while Baba looked on.

Then we let our hair down with Piel,

and hit the dance floor !!

Cadence was the life of the party!
There is so much more to say...but no more time to say it. We'll miss you all!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Packing!...but mostly, watermelon.

Things have been pretty chaotic around here.  Deciding to up and move your entire family to an entirely new environment a thousand miles away, and ditching half your stuff in the process, all in three weeks time, makes for a crazy three weeks.  We've been sorting and packing and gathering records and trying to field all the "WTF you're leaving?" calls and trying to organize our farewell party (and silent auction!) for this sat (e-mail if you need details!) and...

Well, Cadence has been extremely helpful during all of this, helping us pack (above), entertaining visitors, and just generally being her wonderful self.  On saturday, she had her very first taste of watermelon, which I had cut up for her.  She liked it, but wasn't as interested in it as she was in the slices that the rest of us had.  So, on Sunday, we went ahead with a Grand Experiment and gave her her very own slice.  The results:  We died.  It was too much cute.  She LOVED it!  And she bit off tiny pieces that posed no choking hazard.  Hurrah! 

It was a mini, seedless watermelon, which proved to be just exactly Cadie-sized, and perfect for munching on with those aching, tooth-infested gums.

Ack!  the baby-sized bite marks in the baby-sized melon, with those baby-sized hands holding it so delicately...these photos just can't do the event justice.  I'd say it was the highlight of something, but with Cadence around, every moment is a highlight, and she keeps things so unique it's hard to compare one event to another.  [For instance, our simple trip to the container store yields moments of preciousness like this:

Aren't they cute?]

Another noteable moment came this Saturday, when, after a mere 3 years (3 years!  Seriously!!) Puy finally met Puy.  Here they are together, in all the glory that is Puy, x2.