Saturday, November 28, 2009

warrin' with sorren

While trapped in a fate worse than death the other day (Yo Gabba Gabba, I cannot deny being deeply disturbed by it), I was hanging with Sorren, a man of few words, while his mom took a shower. This is what it means to hang with Sorren:

We had so much fun I decided not to murder Debe for whipping out her go-go-Gadget-camera, again. This kid's a pretty formidable opponent, especially when he's fully on your head, and what I'd like to know is who the hell I was texting during our bout? Dang.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

if you're going to sure to go to santa cruz too

A photo (and some text) narrative of our trip to San Francisco last week:
(Incidentally, we both grew up all over the Bay Area and the coast, so despite the touristy nature of the pictures, we owned these streets and are decidedly not tourists, lol. So there's that.)

Even though we ran out of gas and sat in Homicide Cornville (between Orland and Corning) for an hour, at which point Lewie (exact spelling) arrived in his diesel steed to rescue us and tell us that we were, with absolute certainty, going to die on the Bay Bridge, as people had been doing all week. Debe got a bit spooked when the car died in pitch black nowhere, whereas I was out stretching my legs and laughing, but once we were rolling, she eased up and I began chewing off my tongue in fear of that stupid bridge. I've hated it my whole life. Thankfully I fell asleep like 20 minutes before we got there and awoke to the ghetto-est motel in San Francisco. After handing over our keys, signing waivers in case of death, and surviving up the scariest elevator in the world, we got to our room at 4-something am. It seemed logical to just stay awake at that point.

Beautiful San Francisco sunrise:

Always a good sign:

Behold the oldest, most rickety, sweaty, all-glass, banging-against-the-walls-and-ultimately-breaking-with-me-in-it Stephen King elevator bringing us four floors down:

This is all the shit necessary to eat and shop, lol. (Note: It was on the ride back up to retrieve this mess that the elevator broke--awesome.)

"Sooo, I'm thinking the Cheesecake Factory?"

Now this is a city landscape. Even 20 years later, you can't take California out of the girl:

Avocado spring roll appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory, in which Debe forced me to sit not only on the 700th floor, but right on the edge of the balcony, to repay me for her being afraid when we ran out of gas. I am seldom compelled to photograph food, but these practically reached out and took pictures of themselves:

Seriously, this sandwich was six inches tall, no hyperbole. The process of me trying to eat it is not something I'd ever publish but all I could think was, "I have a shot at this, but how in the hell is anyone else supposed to eat this?" There were tears and laughter...and middle fingers:

Our amazing waiter Mitch, who accommodated my special shrimp order, whose sarcasm was splendid, who amused us while we ate, and most importantly, reminded me of Naveen Andrews:

Writing a scroll of commendation for Mitch, since we couldn't steal him:

The theater in which a friend of Debe's performed with her troupe, ostensibly our reason for going down. It was approximately 500 seats smaller than I expected. My legs were on the stage, no big deal:

One thing I'd never done was go to a hookah bar, which evoked great pity and dangerous speeds and the next thing I knew I was breathing watermelon-mint uh, air, through a pipe, in front of 30 people, which was arguably the most awkward experience of my recent life. I just didn't get the allure, and I held the hose wrong, and just generally failed to appreciate inhaling something that was neither mood-altering nor good-tasting. But the Arabic belly dancers were mesmerizing, and far more intoxicating than watermelon-mint air:

How not to do it, well excuuuuuuuuuse me:

I give up:

Ah, the Castro, where even the bottled water is gay. Some of the best shopping evah:

Getting tattoo quotes on lower Haight, and meeting the meanest artist alive, who would have frowned if a wagon full of kittens rolled by. Sheesh:

When my Santa Cruz family found out we were in S.F., my cousin Maria said, 'You had better be coming here.' So we ran down Haight, Debe taught me the most ingenious parking trick ever, waved goodbye to the old bridge, as I have hundreds of times, and hightailed it to Santa Cruz:

The tunnel through which my brother Sky and I used to hold our breaths en route to Santa Cruz. This tunnel means we're almost there:

Greetings from my most beloved Maria:

Maria's son Max, 12. He's a fully-endorsed surf champion, well-known throughout Pleasure Point, deliciously handsome, hilarious, generous, and so sweet of spirit it's a wonder I haven't stolen him yet. We had the pleasure of hanging with him one night, and I couldn't be more proud of this guy I used to wear in a wrap:

My favourite restaurant in Santa Cruz, Dharma's. When I was little it was called McDharma's, but McDonald's sued them into dropping the "Mc." Damn, that was like 25 years ago, and I've been ordering the same pesto pasta since then. It's vegan, ultra Santa Cruz chic, UGGs mandatory, but so so worth it:

Uh, epic fail. Perhaps we should eat someplace else?

Splendid as always. May I have a shovel? And thanks to Debe for capturing my sloppiest, laughingest, and otherwise worst eating shots!

Yet I never caught her eating. I'm actually not sure I've ever seen her eat:

What's better than Dharma's for lunch? Back to Dharma's for dinner of course. That's where my fam opted to meet so we could visit. We were like our own little nest of paparazzi:

My cousin Catarina, Gustavo, sweet Gabriela, and yummy yummy Luca:

Luca, the wild thing, baby of the family, stops for nothing:

Some Wilhelm women: Auntie Donna rockin' 65 (!!!), Maria, me, Catarina, Gabriela:

The dreaded goodbyes, I hate letting go of Maria, and even got lured to Coffeetopia over Starbucks for her, lol:

Okay so this wasn't strictly the scenic route nor blog, but it's my family who made these cities so special. As the saying goes, I always leave a piece of my heart in San Francisco, and an even bigger piece in Santa Cruz.

Monday, November 16, 2009


My boy is thisclose to catching up to his preposterous height, crossing the threshold of ten and officially in the fast lane of adolescence, in the carpool lane even, with his 13 and 14 year old friends, who speak and know of things that make me feel as if I belong at home churning butter and putting wood in the old pot bellied stove. "Mom it's an fm transmitter, you just plug it in and set the radio station to the right frequency...really you don't know?"

"All I really want for my birthday is (insert painfully esoteric electronic capture-something that costs a pretty penny) and dinner at Applebee's." (Read: Rodeo, wagonwheel, psychedelic, seven-tvs-blaring, circus nightmare with Buffalo wings so goddamned spicy you will cry and call your mommy and say The Lord's Prayer, I'm not kidding.)

Happy Birthday Quinny, thank you for making me a mama:

Waking up to happy birthday phone calls:

Wearing the novelty masks Todd allowed Reilly to buy, which I found embarrassing and awkward and would never have allowed, but a cute picture:

Some sort of rare sibling cooperation/Tootsie Pop zen-thing:

A quick rest after apparently spraying MY hairspray for 65 minutes straight:

Reilly chose Quinn's balloons, which were supposed to be Halo-coloured but then she emerged with a ginormous Elmo as a joke. Quinn laughed so hard. They get along so well on their birthdays, like little kittens. The other 363 days they're Velociraptors, I'm just sayin':

Raking in more loot at Assholebee's, er, Applebee's:

This picture is really blurry and suffice it to say that do-rag ain't my favourite, but I heart this shot of Reilly. Still, yet whimsical. Those lips, dang:

Every odd birthday I get the kids' portraits taken. It irritates me that they used such a dark backdrop, but his 17-ness is fairly evident nonetheless:

I somehow forgot to get his portrait done when he turned nine, so the last picture in the frame was this one, when he was seven. You have no idea how fast this happens. One minute they have little boy hair cuts and you can see their beautiful faces, and they wear what you want, and five seconds later they're brooding and use all your hairspray and wear a wallet chain and glasses and you can't see their faces at all, even though they stand at near eye-level. They really do grow up (sniff):

Blowing out his Halo/300 inside-jokes-I-don't-get cake:

Birthday punks, a couple hours before the clock struck midnight and they turned back into Raptors:

My 20th birthday as a mother (faints), and I am, as ever, amazed by my children. Quinny, no son could make me prouder, laugh harder, nor love more deeply. You are worth the six pairs new Levi's every three months. I could not be more grateful that you were born.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

he was blind but now he sees

Quinn has complained of eye strain a couple times in the past month or so, and since I have 20/20 vision, it like, never occurred to me that his could be compromised, despite the fact that everyone in Todd's family wears glasses as thick as the glass at an aquarium. I thought it must be the computer, but modifying the font/angle/time spent didn't help so Todd took the kids in for vision screenings the other day. I was out of town, so Reilly was texting updates. Verdict: She got her mama's eagle eye and my boy became a four-eyes. He took it really well, and my only regret is that I wasn't there to manipulate him into getting the glasses I wanted. Alas, he is 11, and I likely would have lost anyway. One of my favorite aspects of home schooling is that kids aren't instantly self-conscious about everything, but this is a significant adjustment so I asked Quinn if the glasses were bothersome at all. "Not at all Mom. I put them on and I was like, 'oh my god I can see!'" My heart dropped a little, imagining that he has been walking into walls and stuff because I never noticed he was blind. He is so happy. Vision is really novel to him, he's excited to see more than shapes. So here's my boy, sporting, as he is quick to specify, B.U.M. "Suave" glasses:

Here's to seeing the world Quinny...