29 July 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise

In case you don't see/read/hear (feel?/smell? I don't want to make any of the senses feel left out) the news, we had an earthquake today! Wheeee!

Actually, not so wheee, since this was the first one for me as a mommy. There I was, working sitting at my desk when the shaking began. And if you live in California, you know what happens then. You think to yourself, "Ummmm...is a huge truck driving into our building or is this an earthquake?" And then you wait for it to be over in a second and a half.

When it continues, your brain shifts gears. "Ok. Earthquake. Let's do this!" And your years of early training in elementary school pay off as you robotically walk to the nearest doorjam. Doorjamb? Door jam. And you ride it out.

This one lasted like five hours. No, that's not right. Two? No. Probably about 10 seconds, but with an earthquake safe building, this means you roll around and sway from side to side for an extra minute. My sweet co-worker from Turkey looked like she was either going to barf or need assistance with her journey to the nearest loony bin. There is always a "first timer" in the bunch.

When the building stopped swaying, I hugged my freaked-out Turkish co-worker, went to my desk, grabbed my purse, keys and phone and left with a quick "I'm going to get my son," which I said over my shoulder as the door was closing behind me. I heard my boss shout, "Don't just check on him - take him with you!" Boog is in daycare about 0.8 miles from the office, so in my car it takes me under five minutes from the office door to the daycare's door. I was the first parent "on the scene." Wow, that sounds so dramatic! Like I'm a paramedic responding to a distress call or something! Cool. I'm using that more often.

I walk in and the caregivers are pacing around with phones to their ears. The head woman (we'll call her MarshaMarshaMarsha) mouths a "hello" to me and I scan the room for Boog. All the kids are preparing for nap time, laying on their respective mats, some already asleep and the rest in various states of consciousness. I spot Boog in the middle of the room, hunched over what appears to be dirt that had been tracked in on someone's shoe from outside. He's pushing a clump of dirt back and forth with his little finger, completely engrossed.

So basically, aside from the flurry of phone calls, everyone seems unfazed. Un-fazed? I'm having spelling issues today.

Boog sees me and jumps up with a delighted squeal and "Mommy!" and runs over to let me wrap him in a tight hug. MarshaMarshaMarsha gives me the lowdown on what happened: everyone is fine, nothing fell off shelves or whatever, the news says there might be more, and Boog was laughing the whole time it was happening.

Like he's Mr. Adrenaline Rush or something. Thoughts of a future Boog bungee-jumping off some remote New Zealand bridge flood my mind. Then he's off to Colorado to shoot the rapids in a kayak, stopping only to base jump off Half Dome in Yosemite.

We left in my car and headed back to the office. Here's my reasoning for this:
(a) there is a very small chance that there will be another one today;
(b) it's air conditioned;
(c) it's safer in that building than my apartment building (I'm quite certain);
and (d) it's air conditioned. Oh did I use that one already?

I park the car and we head inside. He is greeted with the happy excitement that usually ensues when we visit Mommy's office. He makes a beeline for Brad's office, which is the place where the slinky, stress ball, orange fish and tiny globe live. I make sure he isn't bothering Brad and settle back at my desk to make some calls and update Rob on where we are/how we are doing.

So that's basically it, I guess. Just another day in paradise, as the title says. We all had In-n-Out Burger for lunch, Boog included, and I was able to actually get Boog down for a nap in my office for two and a half hours! He snored loudly in the corner, with a cozy towel wrapped around him like a burrito. I got some work done, and managed to fit in lots of personal emailing without anyone noticing. Looking back on the day, I would have to say it was pretty great. Is that odd? I think it's because having Boog within arm's reach for the afternoon made me extremely happy. And if you knew about the crazy night I had prior to this day, you would understand.

But that's another post altogether.

20 July 2008

With Tongue

Last night I dreamt that I kissed Seal. He was a REALLY good kisser. And Heidi Klum was totally okay with it.

19 July 2008

Boys

My mom and I sat and watched Boog playing quietly with his little school bus and bus riders...

Mom: "Aww...look how cute he is, playing so sweetly with those little people."

Me: "Awww."

Boog was removing all the passengers from the school bus, including the driver, and placing them gently on the carpet.

Then he lifted up the bus and SLAMMED IT DOWN ONTO THE LITTLE PEOPLE. Over and over again.

18 July 2008

Office Chatter

Ally: “Hey Eva, guess what today is?”

Eva: “Um, your half-birthday?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your parents’ anniversary?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 2 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 3 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “Um, your 4 year anniversary at this company?”

Ally: “No…”

Eva: “I’m running out of guesses.”

Ally: “It’s actually something that both you and I are involved in.”

Eva: “Um, oh! Is it National Take Off Your Bra and Don’t Wear A Bra To Work Day?”

Ally: “No. …it’s payday, Eva.”

Eva: “Oh.”

12 July 2008

New Beginnings

And so my journey through the alphabet comes to a close. It's been an interesting project to play with and distract myself with. I re-read a few of them recently and realized that I really don't get too personal with all of you readers. Which I suppose is for the best, but tonight I'll let you in on a small piece of Personal Eva.

On last Tuesday night, I wrote an email to a friend, part of which read as follows:

"I am sitting here feeling rather odd, and I know it's some strange thing associated with the events that are taking place tomorrow morning. I find it impossible to write anything, so I just sit here, staring at my screen, willing an email to come and distract me. And I run the rounds through my favorite blogs, chastising myself for not reading something important. When is the last time I picked up a damn newspaper? I don't know why I'm concerning myself with my lack of intellectual stimulation right now. I guess it's just more desire for distraction..."

The following morning at 9am, I was at the Orange County courthouse to appear before a judge that would finalize the "marriage dissolution" between myself and Rob. I arrived with some discomfort about how I would feel during the next hour of my day. I came alone, not wanting this to be a "shared moment" with anyone else in my life. Outside the courtroom I met my attorney. As previously agreed, she and I went over the questions she would be asking me in front of the judge; all of which pertain to the fact that the marriage is irreconcilable, that we've agreed to split our assets as stated in the judgment, that no amount of counseling will solve anything, etc.

We were moved to a different courtroom due to our scheduled judge being absent that day. The new judge needed to review the documents before swearing me in. In the interim, he closed a couple of other cases on the agenda. A woman around my age was sworn in and was asked the same questions as I had been briefed on. The judge approved the petition for divorce and sent her back to the seats in the rear of the courtroom. She sat down next to me and started to sniffle and choke back a few sobs. I placed my hand on her arm and told her that it was going to be okay, and that she wasn't alone. I don't know if that was a dumb thing to say, but I found myself becoming sad for her. She said that it was for the best and that now she can get on with her life.

I was struck with a moment of terror - would I start sobbing in front of the judge? I really didn't know how I was going to react to the finality of this divorce that began back in October. I decided that I would just remove my emotion from the process and hope for the best.

The judge excused himself and went to his chambers to review the cases that had been moved from the other courtroom (ours included). My attorney came over to me (she had been sitting up front with the other attorneys) and sat down to make small talk. I asked her if she ever took vacations, figuring that this would distract from the task at hand and further my goal of remaining unattached to the proceedings. She talked about going to San Diego at the end of the month to attend Comicon, AKA NerdFest 2008.

This was perfect. I was delighted that my attorney was such an odd character, vacationing in San Diego for Comicon, and, from a previous conversation months ago, loves to see Wicked The Musical over and over and over again. Even better, I found myself totally at peace with what was soon to transpire.

The judge came back, and after one other case, we were called up. I sat at the table with my attorney and stood up to get sworn in. Did you know that they don't make you put your hand on a Bible? Is that just in the movies? Anyhoo, my attorney asked all the questions and I said "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, etc." and then we were done. The judge granted the divorce, I said goodbye to my attorney, and she stayed behind to wait for the documents to be processed.

I left the courtroom and made my way towards the escalator to take me downstairs and out of the building. You know how sometimes you experience a rare moment in your life where you are completely "in the moment", taking everything in, committing it to memory and utilizing all of your senses to do so? Wednesday morning, riding down the escalator was one of those moments. I realized that I felt an extraordinary sense of relief. And closure. And then something surprised me. I felt happy.

And that made me smile.

Z is for Zane Grey

My old college roomie Gloria is one of my top five friends in the world. She is fun, brilliant, goofy, and a perfect hostess. On occasion, I find myself with a Boog-free weekend. Boog's dad will have him for a weekend with his parents, and I will have time to have a lazy sleepover with Glo at her house.

She loves having guests and I always feel like I'm spending a weekend at a Bed & Breakfast. She and her fiance Steve feed me dinner, fill me with wine and good, grown-up conversations, I collapse in a private room with private bath and sleep for hours and hours with no alarm or child to disturb my sweet, sweet slumber. Then I wander downstairs and once everyone's awake, we have breakfast and cappuccinos and healthy smoothies. And then we waste a whole day just hanging out together, with either retail therapy or a trip to the botanical gardens or whatever.

And by the way: Gloria and Steve live in the historic Zane Grey Estate.



22,000 square feet of amazing room after amazing room. And it's all so unassuming that it's easy to get accustomed to being there very quickly. We usually eat in the kitchen and then we "retire" to the living room where there is a big fireplace, a sofa and some comfy armchairs. And a kitty that makes himself at home in your lap. I find myself forgetting that I'm in this crazy big house made from poured concrete because the wife of the first owner was petrified of fires.



I remember Gloria taking me on a tour of the house the first time I visited her there. It took about an hour. Here's a partial picture of the "West Wing" taken from the back of the main house:



They just planted a mini vineyard in the back, as you can see at the bottom right of the picture above. The property is so large that they can only afford to tackle one project at a time, most recently the roof and the enormous expense of repairing it. This weekend they are having an estate sale, selling big roomfuls of stuff that they've spent the past couple of years clearing out as they work from room to room.

I love visiting that place, mostly because Gloria lives there, but also because really people: how often can you take advantage of such an opportunity? And also, it gives me an appreciation for my tiny one-bedroom apartment and the simplicity that accompanies it.

03 July 2008

Y is for Yesteryear

I should discontinue sharing the musical journeys of my past. Perhaps I scared some of you away with the LA punk scene? Except for Skeeter. Hi Skeeter! Or maybe you're all enjoying your July 4th weekends sans computers! Happy 4th, everybody!

So let's take a journey of another sort. One with a picture and one with a post.

Here's a picture I have in my apartment, of my dad and me outside our cabin in Norway, circa Summer 1970.



And here's an old post that I dug up about Boog from December 2006.

Stay tuned for the final post in my alphabet series: "Z"!!!

01 July 2008

X is for X

At the tender age of 17, the summer after graduating high school, my friend Gail dated a cute punker from Long Beach. And since she and I were attached at the hip, I was paired with his buddy Brent. It was through them that I was exposed to the L.A. punk band X. I still listen to my double album "Los Angeles/Wild Gift" and feel 17 again, with no responsibilities, no sense of mortality and no respect for authority. I never lived the punk lifestyle, but I'll be damned if this band didn't rock my world that summer.