Sunday, February 21, 2010

we'll miss you, fred z...

I'm back in the air, flying down to Los Angeles to see my family and say goodbye to my Uncle Fred, who died last week. It was only a year ago that I flew down to say goodbye to my Aunt Liz. Though this time, the news was totally unexpected and it just doesn't feel right to keep having these family reunions for funerals. It feels a little empty knowing he won't be there with his constant smile and snarky remarks, and I wonder if this is just how it is as you get older and see how family dynamics and shape changes and evolves.

Last night I was trying to come up with some memories and I was talking with the kids about Fred. I told them the exciting stuff--how he worked in Hollywood on special effects and that as a kid, it was a thrill to see his name on the credits of movies I loved. That he'd worked with movie stars and had signed photos of them in his house. But mostly my memories aren't all that exciting to turn into stories for the kids. How do you explain the comforting humor in knowing that after a big holiday meal, Uncle Fred would sprawl out on the living room floor and take a nap? Or that it was inevitable at every family seder at his house, he'd hide the afikomen behind the huge Mickey Mouse clock? I remember his hugs were so strong they hurt and that his relationship with my dad, his brother, was one that I admired.

And then the bright side of seeing family unexpectedly.

Already I've connected with all five of my siblings and two of my cousins and I'm still in air. (BTW, I am totally loving the GoGo Inflight Internet Access). I saw some Hawaiian floral and fauna (Does a squishy niece count as fauna? I'm saying yes.) talking to my brother Dan in Kauai, and a coupla tan little nephews. And then loaded up my Google camera for a chat with David. Ahhh, the Interwebs are so cool. And they've absolutely helped me deal with the incessant and nauseating babytalk and macking the couple next to me has been practicing throughout this whole flight.

We've come a long way from Uncle Fred's cool Pachinko machine we played non-stop at his house. Somehow things don't feel all that different, though...

We'll miss you Uncle Fred...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the ashkenazy collective tomorrow @ egan's jam house in ballard...

If you don't have plans tomorrow night, you should definitely head out to Egan's Jam House in Ballard @7pm to see The Ashkenazy Collective, the New York-based band to see.* Along with their own original compositions, they also play jazz standards and folk music from around the world, including Yiddish melodies and themes from Spain, Israel, Mexico and China. It should be a good time.

Oh, and bring your kids. We are...

*They're also bunking at our house, so we're pretty objective here.

retro-noem and fun with the iPhone Polarize app...

wordless wednesday

Monday, February 15, 2010

in memory of the wheat allergy...

Okay, so remember Tali's wheat allergy?
You know, the one that cured her chronic stomach aches? The one that forced her to happily eat bread made out of tapioca and macaroni and cheese made from rice noodles? The one that made grocery shopping a sort of scavenger hunt type experience where I had to carefully read labels and get all creative about new dinner recipes? Remember how we've had sushi for dinner at least six times in the last three weeks because besides nachos, it's the only meal that all of us will eat (and it's slightly less of a heart killer than said nachos).

Oh, and remember how it was all worth it because Tali's chronic stomach aches finally ended? She went weeks without mentioning belly aches at school and everyone, including her, felt relieved because we'd solved the problem.

And remember how the only bad part of the whole diagnosis was the EXTREME parental guilt because for this whole time I'd thought it was all in her head--that it was emotional--and that we had to teach her how to deal with her feelings. But in the end, it turned out it was an allergy and I had to feel like a totally neglectful parent for not. even. noticing. that. it. could. be. an. ALLLERGY????

Well, that was then and um, this is now.
Apparently, she's sort of over being celiac.

I took Tali to the doctor's last week to talk to her about nutrition and getting tested for celiac. But the funny ha ha thing is that when you don't eat wheat for a month, you can't get tested for celiac because you don't have it in your system! Yeah... Smart mom, huh?

Doctor M. asks Tali about her symptoms and nodded when Tali said definitively, "I feel so much better. It must be the wheat." And I nodded proudly, knowing that we'd solved all of our daughter's problems.

"Well, sometimes you can get over a wheat allergy," Dr. M. tells us.
"Really?" I ask. "That'd be nice. That tapioca bread is awful."
"Maybe you should start testing out little bits of wheat..." she says, giving me a funny look.
"Wow, really?" I ask. "It's barely been a month."

But when Tali runs out to the bathroom, the doctor says to me, "Give the girl some wheat and don't tell her you're doing it. I'm not sure by her symptoms that's what's going on."

I nod and say okay, but inside I'm thinking, "Nope, no way, uh uh. You are WRONG, Dr. M."

The next morning, I sleep late and when I wake up, Boaz is making pancakes for the kids. They smell delicious and look pretty normal.

"Look at these wheat-free pancakes Daddy made me," Tali says proudly. I taste one and it's really good. And really not wheat-free.

"Her stomach ache is yours today, Buddy," I whisper to him.

But the thing is, she never gets that stomach ache. That night he gives her noodles and tells her it's okay to eat them. Again, no problem. And then yesterday she eats a burrito.

"Is the flour tortilla bad for me?" She asks. And then before I can tell her that it's probably okay, she says confidently "I'm just going to eat it. I need to start working wheat back into my diet."

She ate wheat all day today. And when I came home from work, I asked her how she felt and
she said fine. "My wheat vacation did it for me," she said proudly. And then she went to bed without a stomach ache. "Dr. M. is really smart."

Huh. Okay... So that's it? I'm bracing for what's coming next.

In the meantime, I've got a whole arsenal of wheat-free goodies. Anyone want some donuts made from tapioca?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

sorry, facebook... i'm a twit now.

Dear FB,

It's happened. I've found someone else.

It took awhile, I'll admit. For a long time I withstood the pressure to fall madly in love with Twitter. I did set up an account a long while back, but after a few quiet chirpy little tweets, I decided that I did not need another addiction (really?). I held the position that Twitter basically mimicked the worst part of Facebook--constant mindless updates that I'm not saying I don't participate in, but I didn't really need another outlet to promote my evening status trifecta of weather, drink, and exercise. And I sounded just like my parents. I don't get that Twitter thingymabob.

I couldn't hold out for long, though.
I tried again using TweetDeck and the heavens parted and I totally understood.

Twitter is not a stunted Facebook. I'm not looking for anyone on there (because I've basically already found everyone I've ever known on FB) and I don't feel social obligations to friend people and keep them as friends even when I'm not really interested in their status updates. (I feel comfortable saying that because the people I'm referring to would not be reading this.) And while there is some networking going on, it's mostly about transferring information. I've found the coolest sites and people on Twitter. Where else can I follow @davidlynch, @aplusk, @jesus_m_christ and @princessmikkimo on the same feed? Plus, through retweeting, I've found amazing resources for social and digital marketing sites. And don't even get me started about the marketing opportunities being tapped into for businesses... You don't just have to be a "Fan"--you can view the personality behind a company and get notified of deals and offers.

And the best thing is that my social media short attention span is placated with short, clever tweets that just say what they need to say. No more wasted hours.

I'm sorry that I rarely come around anymore, Facebook. It's true, I still enjoy Bejewelled and Farmville (Damn you, Farmville, for tempting me with your inane and pinhead simple click-farming. But you played on my competitive spirit and I couldn't let my 9 year old beat me without a fight.). But Facebook, I'm just finding that I need my social media to be smarter. And you're so in my face all the time. Plus, I feel like you take advantage of me sometimes. You do not need to go into my privacy settings all the time and then "accidentally" sign me up for things like "Fan of K-Y Jelly" that nobody comments on because um, they really don't quite know what to say.

I'd say that it wasn't you, it was me, but that's actually not true. It's really you.
I'll come by and check that my crops don't wither, and play the odd game of Bejewelled, but I can't waste time on you anymore.

I'm through,