Well, it's been awhile my furry friends. It's a new decade, there are ten Oscar nominees for best picture (The Blind Side...really?), New Orleans won the Super Bowl, and Sarah Palin can't seem to keep her yap shut. I'm sure it's seemed as if I buried my head in the sand. Well, yes, all sorts of dithering has gone on in the first six or so weeks of the new year. But on this crisp and clear manic Monday I've set aside the remote, the joystick, the newest Dan Brown novel, for it's time to be present, and maybe, just maybe I will string a word or two together creating these magnificent constructs called sentences.
Twenty-ten hasn't been all mindless avoidance. There have been torrential rains, caffeine free mornings, a tearful goodbye to my close friends carbohydrates, many many triangles of Laughing Cow cheese smeared on stalks of celery, reintroducing myself to the gym, hating the fact I made that reintroduction, a jaunt to Knots Berry Farm, getting cast in a the play Six Degrees of Separation, turning down the role, then finally accepting two roles only to have the playwright, John Guare, pull the plug cancelling the production entirely, and of course, no winter would be complete without a constant barrage of illness...first Maxie's reaction to the H1N1 vaccine, then Sebastian's forty-eight hour virus in response to Maxie's illness, then Maxie's ear infection in response to Sebastian's virus, and the cherry, Michael's kidney and/or intestinal infection thingy. I swallow handfuls of vitamins during the day and spray myself with Armor All at night.
But let's go back to the tail end of 2009... Michael, my tremendously talented and charming husband, is back from his two month sojourn north. Palo Alto mourns his departure. But when mounting a play called Civil War Christmas, one can only assume it's seasonal run will be limited. While he was away, I came to the conclusion that single parenting is more challenging than being Courtney Love's personal assistant. Mommy was left with all the chores and only a fifth of Jameson's to see me through. However, during those two months, I revamped our bill system, redid our daughter's room top to bottom, and planned Sebastian's seventh birthday party, the theme: hot dogs.
The hot dog bar birthday is actually a brilliant concept which came to me in a scotch induced stupor. Michael was given 24 hours leave from the Civil War to come home and barbecue Nathan's hot dogs and Johnsonville brats. I made homemade chili and potato salad, and you better believe we supplied all the fixins: catsup, mustard, sweet relish, dill relish, jalapenos, peccadillos, chopped onions, sauerkraut and a fondue pot of melted Velveeta. Talk about your white trash guilty pleasure. The adults liked it more than the kids.
Then, we all spent Christmas in the Bay Area, touching base occasionally with my family. I had to buy Bash a new sport jacket because we had Christmas Eve dinner at the club. (Yes, I said the club. I can get very WASPy that way. Don't make me pull out my copy of Emily Post. It's right next to The Art of the Cocktail.) Every time I take Michael to the club I feel as if I'm stickin' it to the man. There is not one person as dark as he is in the entire building. Those who come close to his chocolate brown are bartenders and servers with warm caramel colored skin. Possibly quite unfairly, I looked into the very white faces of those I grew up with and tried to detect a glimmer of prejudice in their eyes. But they betrayed nothing. We miraculously escaped another Christmas Eve unscathed.
Christmas over, Civil War and otherwise, we packed ourselves en masse into our no-incident-yet Toyota Highlander like wet, smelly sardines. And with four suitcases and Santa's bounty we headed due south. Michael couldn't wait to catch up on his stories on the DVR and Maxie was demanding her lady bug bed.
It's odd, my time was fully accounted for when Michael was away, and now that he's back relieving some of the parental burden, I have felt purposeless. I've glanced at the computer screen hundreds of times, and like a siren it beckons, "Hey, remember me? You used to spend hours stroking my keys and looking longingly into my screen."
I had to get out of the house. Away from the piles of laundry, sink full of dishes and Phineas and Ferb marathon to write. I've landed at a Russian cafe, eating Greek salad, sipping Moroccan non-caffeinated mint tea, listening to Safety Dance. I scribble in my notebook and hope the pilot light has been reignited.
There've been encouragements from some of you and they have been much appreciated. And with grace and humility (quite unlike Chloe Sevigny verbally bitch slapping the usher who stepped on her ridiculously long train at the Golden Globes) I say to you, I am back.