Sunday, July 29, 2007

Waiting for the Rain

Last night I found catharsis in cooking up a feast from all the booty I snagged at yesterday's Farmers Market in Wooster Square. And after a kick-ass dinner, the kids went outside to draw with sidewalk chalk--something they've both been into since they were old enough to walk. While drawing Transformers, cop cars, firetrucks, and Star Wars characters, Nolan--clad only in a t-shirt and underwear--decided to rub dirt all over him. Literally. He found a little patch of dirt, and started rubbing it into his skin, his hair...everywhere. This picture barely captures it:

The kids were quickly ushered into the tub, and there was a silt left behind in the tub that rivaled anything they've left in their wake before. It was pretty impressive.

It's Sunday. The boys and I had a good day just chillin' together. We spend a lot of time together, and they rarely see their dad anymore (his choice, not theirs--or mine). But despite the quantity of time we spend together, today was nice. A little more laid-back. No family functions. No obligations. No birthday parties or events. Not even the beach. We hung out at home with the dog and the turtle, lazed around, played with Legos, Transformers and Star Wars stuff, and watched the Yanks win.

There is a nice pace to our life these days. I wouldn't trade it for what we had before.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Little Sailor

Nolan's way into Transformer's tats these days. Thought I'd share.


Friday, July 27, 2007

The Flip-Side

When I was a little kid, I used to go to Tolli's in 'Staven for pizza with my mom, her two sisters, and her brother. They were all teenagers or in their early 20s, and they'd sit around and drink beer, eat pizza, and give me quarters to sink into the jukebox. As I've written before in my myspace blog, one their favorite songs on the Tolli's jukebox was Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs".

Fast-forward roughly 30 years. Tolli's has been remodeled. The cool, vinyl booths and split linoleum floor have been replaced with a Greco-Roman decor (read: lots of statues and stucco). The old jukebox is gone. (In fact, most old jukeboxes are gone everywhere, replaced by those horrid Internet jukeboxes. Ugh. The whole art of the jukebox lies in the limitations of choice and how carefully the selections have been put together. But this is a topic for an entirely different blog.) And half of my aunts and uncles are in recovery.

But I still love that song. There a few songs that I can really, really cry to when I hear them. And "Silver Springs" is one of them. It was a great B-side, just like all the relationships I cried over while listening to it.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ringing Ears and Tripped Alarms

The White Stripes were amazing last night. Just simply amazing. Balls to the wall rock and roll. I had seen Jack White play with his band the Raconteurs last fall up in Boston. And while that show was great, it couldn't hold a candle to last night's performance. The White Stripes are some seriously hip-swaying, sexy rock. I was there with a bunch of people, and I sweat my ass off. I needed that. And we tailgated in the parking lot beforehand, too, which was a ton of fun.

In fact, four of us drove up in Ian's car to the show, meeting up with four other groups of people at the theater parking lot. Since we were taking Ian's car, I left my car at the office. And since I was leaving my car at the office, I left one of my bags--with the day's work clothes--in my office, rather than leave it in my car in the lot as a temptation for whomever might have been casing the place last night.

Sometime near midnight, Ian and I pulled into the lot here at work so I could grab my car and head home. There was a note on my windshield from my coworker, Todd:

"Your office door was open. I had to come here with the cops because the alarm was tripped at 7 PM. YOU OWE ME ONE."

I was mystified. For one, I always lock my exterior office door that leads to our garden area, so I couldn't imagine that was the door he was talking about. I mean, I ALWAYS lock that. And I couldn't imagine that my interior office door would have tripped the alarm. The whole thing was too much for my brain, which was recovering from four beers in a parking lot before the show, dehydration from alcohol and profuse prespiration during the show, and ringing ears from all that sexy rock and roll.

I decided to wait until morning to deal with it. I called Todd at 8AM to find out what happened.

"Jesus Christ, Moira. What the fuck? You had everyone scared half to death!!!"

"What the hell are you talking about?" I asked him.

"Your outside door wasn't locked."


The latch can be tricky sometimes, so I must not have made a full rotation on the lock when I thought I did, causing it to remain open.

"Your outside door wasn't locked, your car was here, and it looked like your purse was here--with clothes in it."

"It wasn't my purse."

"I know that, but the cops were getting all distressed. They thought it was all very suspicious. They seriously thought you had been kidnapped or something. One of the cops even said he wanted to *69 the last person you called from your office phone. I told them, 'Guys. There's no blood. Let's all relax.'" Todd's a volunteer fireman in West Haven. Consequently, as a firemen, he thinks cops are idiots. And vice-versa.

"And then," he continued, "I couldn't reach you on your stupid phone because you have a new cellphone, which I forgot. And the cops got even more freaked out."

This was all funny to me.

"Wow, are New Haven cops that bored?" I asked.

"Where the fuck were you?"

"The White Stripes show. I was busy having fun while you were dealing with the cops in the parking lot!"


"I know. I know. I'm sorry."

"And I'm going to fix that lock today, so this doesn't happen again."

"Thank you."


"I heard you."

He is never going to let me live this one down. Ever.

Today, we all go out for drinks starting at 3:00 to say goodbye to Mike, who is leaving our office and moving to Houston with his wife and new baby. We're all sad to see him go. He's such a buffer around here.

On a separate note, the Stripes finished their set last night with an AWESOME version of their cover of Burt Bacharach's "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself". Damn. That song means a lot to me for reasons I'd rather forget. They rocked that one something fierce, and every single person there sung along. I got a little misty.

Damn songs and their memories.

Happy Thursday.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Love and the White Stripes

Some days I know for sure that we're not a very evolved species. I mean, if we were, we'd all have the love thing figured out and not get so confused and flustered over the emotions tied into our primal need to procreate. Or at least pretend to procreate.

That's all. Just a little thought for the day.

Tonight, I'm gonna rock out with my cock out, suckas. The White Stripes are in CT.


372 Elm Street

I commissioned a painting. I gave Charles three choices for subject, and he chose this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I picked it up last night. It's amazing. To say Charles is very talented is an understatement.

I love my painting.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Work has been tough lately. There have been genuine challenges for our organization, to say nothing of the ego-driven drama that one person on our staff can't seem to help herself from creating. Constantly. Her attitude is poison. It's a cancer in the office. And, quite frankly, it's just a major downer.

I arrived home last night, late, after a 5PM meeting. My sitter had to leave early yesterday, so Ian was at my place taking care of the runts. The kids had been fed. Nolan had pooped on the potty three times while Ian was there (can't argue with a boyfriend who helps clean up after pottytime. Then again, he is a bartender at Rudy's, so what's the difference?) The dog had been fed. And Timmy the Turtle was swimming in his freshly cleaned tank with new toys, six goldfish and an algae eater, which we added to the tank to "eat the green swamp, so Timmy doesn't have to swim in that anymore," as Sean put it.

I made myself a sandwich and said goodbye to Ian, who left for yet another night behind the bar. I hunkered down on the couch, and watched Transformers with the kids. Ian had brought over a three-disc collection of the original cartoon series. The kids are hooked.

I returned my plate to the kitchen and headed back to the living room, noticing along the way a small spiderweb near the corner by the front door. A miniscule spider had managed to catch a feast in her web. A beetle nearly three times the size of the spider was trapped and alive, with a clear view of the descending spider, hungry for its blood. I didn't watch the carnage. But I was impressed with the spider.

Nolan politely requested chocolate milk, so before I had a chance to sit down again, I was back in the kitchen mixing up some Ovaltine. The spoon clink-clinked against the glass, making pretty brown swirls in the milk, and I noticed that Timmy's tank seemd to have fewer fish. I went over to the tank and counted. One, two, three, four, five....


Timmy had eaten one of the fish.

And the algae eater had a chunk bitten out of his back.

I had long resisted getting the goldfish for Timmy's tank, and I suffered some serious chiding from Ian and many of my guy friends because of it. I simply didn't want to watch Timmy eat cute little fish. But last night, after seeing the spider do what it needs to do to survive, I suddenly felt badly about my decision to only feed Timmy dry turtle food. He was ONE HAPPY TURTLE with that fish in his belly. You could just tell. He had a spring in his, uh, stride.

And that spring was there this morning, too. I woke up late, with Nolan next to me in bed. The sun was pouring into my room, and for the first time in days I didn't awake with anxiety about the office. I went into the kitchen and said hi to Timmy, who always scuttles over to the side of the tank to greet people. Then I counted: Three fish remained. And the algae eater was clearly dead.

"Happy turtle!" I exclaimed. Timmy splashed hello.

Later, during breakfast, Sean counted the fish. "What if dead was alive, and alive was dead?" he said. "Then the fish would still be alive. Like soldiers. Then soldiers would still be alive, and the Germans would be dead, cuz all the Germans were bad guys."

Sean's been fascinated by soldiers and war, in particular WWII.

"Sean, honey. Just because the American soldiers fought the German soldiers doesn't mean that all Germans were bad."

"But our soldiers died."

"Right. And so did German soldiers. And so did lots of innocent people, including Germans who didn't like what the German soldiers were doing."

I decided to mention my landlord to bring it home.

"You know Ramzi, our landlord?"


"Well he's from a country called Iraq, but he's lived in our country for a very long time. There is a big war going on in his country right now, and lots of American soldiers have died. But so have Iraqi soldiers. And so have lots of Iraqi people who didn't agree with what the Iraqi soldiers were doing."

"You mean regular people?"

"Yes. And Ramzi's mother and sisters and brothers are all still living there, and they've lost everything: their homes, their friends--"

"You mean friends have died?"


"But now Ramzi lives here, where it's peaceful."

"Yes. It's pretty peaceful where we live. But we're lucky."

"Yeah. Hey, Mom?"


"Maybe Timmy will eat the rest of his fish today. Then he can take a long peaceful rest."

I guess Sean already understands that killing comes in cycles.

I dressed and left for work, where I plan to have a more accepting attitude today--and to remember that just because one coworker wants to battle everyone doesn't mean that there is a war going on. Well, with anyone but herself, that is. She can let it eat her alive, but I won't let it get to me.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

You know your kid is serious about the Yankees when...

...he separates his baseball cards out into two piles:

Everyone else

Sean did this tonight, then put his pile of Yanks cards into a little box he made for them out of Legos, complete with a NYY logo in his own handwriting. That's about as sweet as it gets. And he's only 5.

He placed this special box under his bed. The rest of the cards he gave to his little brother.

Ah, nothing like the highly organized obsessive passion of baseball fans. It can never start too early.

Happy Sunday. Sweet dreams, y'all.


Beach Day. Or not.

Today was a beach day. Except for the fact that I didn't go to the beach. I mean, it was a gorgeous day. Just perfect for hanging out in the sand by the water. But something pushed me elsewhere today, and the kids and I instead went to the playground. We spent a good part of the morning there, running around, playing in the sand, swinging from monkey bars. Then it was off to lunch at Clark's. Raspberry sodas. Spinning on the barstools. BLT for me, hot dog for Nolan, grilled cheese for Sean. All was right with the world.

The playground in East Rock park, where we were today, is a lot of fun for kids. But it's a strange place for grown-ups. First of all, the place was teeming with Yale graduate students and Exceptionally Wealthy East Rock peeps. And, while I love the park and its trees in the shadow of the monument to peace atop East Rock, I find the adult company of the park to be icy at best. There is a sour-puss quality to East Rock. Of course, I love the neighborhood. Architecturally-speaking, it's lovely, to say nothing of the bevy of Eye Talian markets, the shops on State Street, etc that buffer the grid of expensive homes and rentals sandwiched between Fair Haven, Downtown, Newhallville, and Hamden. But the people?

No one talked to each other. In contrast to my days in Westville and, more importantly, my current life in the Cove in which I seem to meet and get to know EVERYONE who crosses my path, East Rock seems to encourage isolationism. Uptight Yale grad students in matching His and Her grey t-shirts fussed over their two-year-old boy; moms flying solo looked at--and smiled at--no one, including their children. Solo dads chatted on cellphones. And the random Chinese grandparent in navy blue socks and sandals--a staple of East Rock--seemed incapable of conversing in English with anyone. And that was a shame, because they were the only ones who smiled and seemed genuinely interested in what was going on around them.

Don't get me wrong. There were several involved, happy parents. But they, too, made no attempt to interact with ANYONE outside their nuke-you-lar family. It was so weird. I am so NOT like that. I'm the annoying parent who cracks jokes with others or who, at the very least, acknowledges the other people in my presence.

After lunch at Clark's, the kids and I drove back over the bridge to our humble side of town. We hopped out of the car, bantered with the neighbors two doors down who shouted hello over the row of fences, and made our way to the back door. A voice called out,

"Ya need a hand?"

It was the neighbor's son, who is about 20. He saw that I had a lot of stuff that I was juggling as I tried to unlock the back door with two sleepy kids in tow.

"Nah, I got it. Thank you, though!" I replied.

"Anytime. We're always here. But you know that."

I'm so glad the jerkoff "pet-friendly" landlords I met in East Rock refused to rent to me, under the guise of my dog's size, but really because I'm a single mom.

I belong here instead.

Those sour pusses in East Rock can have fun staring at their shoes. Next weekend, the kids and I are headed back to Lighthouse, where my guys always make friends with the random kids they run up to and ask, "Hey, ya wanna play with us?"

Gotta go. Kids want drinks and need a bath. Time to scrub all those aging Transformers tattoos offa them--to make room for new ones.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Moira is a blogspot robot.


This is my new blog.

I'm all done with MySpace. Sort of. I mean, I'll be there once in a while. But ... well ... for me, MySpace is so 2005. And, dude, if there is one thing I need to do , it's leave 2005 where it lies.


I have a lot of writing to post here. Thanks for reading all you've read in the past on MySpace. Thanks for reading whatever pours outta my head in the future.

It's Friday night. Firepit is doused in the backyard. Dog's asleep on the floor. Kids are at their dad's for a short stay. Yanks are losing to the Rays.

I don't really care, though. They're so far behind at this point, I watch for the love of the game, not hope of a championship.

And I'm breathing in some sea air.

My soul feels good.

Happy Friday!