Posts tagged with "Aaron"

parent time

When Karen’s at yoga, Aaron and I take turns cook­ing din­ner and play­ing with Ryan and Ruby (read: keep­ing them occu­pied and out of trou­ble). Then we gin­gerly con­vince them to eat what they can (good days involve uten­sils), make sure they’re bathed, and put into bed with a story if they’ve been good. Everything is man­age­able as one but eas­ier with two, espe­cially when the sim­ple act of get­ting rice into a child’s mouth can turn into an ordeal.

This is when I get to expe­ri­ence the joys of hav­ing chil­dren in man­age­able doses. That means not hav­ing to deal with dia­per changes, and read­ing the same 30-word book only four times instead of 400.

Ryan and Ruby

The new lap­tops were presents from Nana and Papa at Christmas. Now they can send/receive e-mails, and blog about the awe­some poop they just took.

Ryan used to be par­tic­u­larly excited to see his Uncle Jeff, leav­ing Aaron and Karen to won­der what got into him when I was around. Now that he’s a bit older, his face doesn’t carry the same glow when I arrive any­more, and he’s hap­pier to see the mar­bles I brought. But Ruby is begin­ning that phase of enam­our, and con­stantly clam­ber­ing into my lap to involve her­self in what I’m doing. Recently she started ask­ing me to carry her (which I’m told means mem­ber­ship in an exclu­sive club con­sist­ing of her par­ents and me), even though she’s just learned to man­age stairs by herself.

They seem to grow by inches every week, and they’ll soon be old enough to take care of them­selves. I’ve learned to appre­ci­ate the lit­tle chances I have to be truly part of a fam­ily like this, espe­cially after decid­ing last year against ever hav­ing kids of my own. And I don’t feel the need for chil­dren any­more cause this will always be enough.

reduction

Heather G made reser­va­tions for us (and Sergey) at the Back Lane Café last week. We hadn’t seen each other since the sum­mer, before they were home­less 1 and I started recov­er­ing. Last time I saw her, she left me with a take­out Hintonburger and a med­i­ta­tion audio­book that she hoped would help me feel bet­ter. It was so sweet that she didn’t under­stand at all what I was going through, but tried so hard to help with very thought­ful gifts anyway.

This time, she wouldn’t let me pay, even though she treated me last time as well, and she said please with such heart­felt intent that I knew she’d be hurt if I didn’t give her the hon­our. We’d been play­ing phone tag for weeks up to that point, and between their careers and camp­ing, they could only spare them­selves for a meal sans tea or dessert. It made me real­ize how pre­cious their time is nowa­days, and the fact that they made the time to see me meant so much more than the two hours we spent catch­ing up over a great food and conversation.

poached shrimp salad

Poached shrimp salad, with Niagara nec­tarines, bibb let­tuce (for it’s ten­der tex­ture), endive, lime, and hazel­nut dress­ing. An appe­tizer good enough for a main.

Continue read­ing “reduction”…

  1. They got evicted due to an unsym­pa­thetic land­lord, couldn’t find a suit­able place to stay, and ended up putting as many of their pos­ses­sions as pos­si­ble in stor­age and sell­ing the rest. Luckily, one of their friends needed a house-sitter, and it gave them enough time to find a place. []

I want to know do I stay or do I go

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So.

Filmed a great wed­ding yes­ter­day, one that left me tired and sore and much deserv­ing of a break. It’s a hazy Sunday morn­ing, and another day that it’ll feel like it’s above 40°C with the humid­ity. Working nearly 13 hours and turn­ing into a lit­tle pud­dle of Asian man means I’m con­sciously avoid­ing the out­doors today. I’ll be con­tent to sip my cof­fee and peer out the win­dow at the gen­tly sun­lit trees.

cat and drink on a hot day

Majel helps us taste-test cock­tails for the reception.

Even though it’s get­ting ever closer to her wed­ding, and Lisa has an increas­ing num­ber of things to get done, we’ve been able to see each other more lately. I’ve real­ized that it’s not good enough to have her meet my needs. I have to fill a cer­tain role in her life too. That’s what brings mean­ing to the rela­tion­ship, cause it means she appre­ci­ates me the way I want to be appre­ci­ated. So often, it feels like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I’m glad to have devel­oped a rit­ual get-together with Aaron too. When we don’t see each other one week, it feels like a year the next time we catch up. Tonight I’m head­ing over to his house for the start of bach­e­lor week, some­thing we’ve been excit­edly plan­ning for a while now. It’s the first time he’s had the house to him­self since the kids were born, so I’ll be stay­ing there for a few days of games, movies, bar­be­cue, and gen­eral guy stuff, com­ing back home to feed the kit­ties every now and then. We’re doing a six per­son Magic tour­ney tomor­row, my first in the Constructed for­mat, and everyone’s mak­ing new decks for the chance to open some M13 boost­ers. I think my deck con­cept is BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to try it out.

Chet Atkins has also been keep­ing me com­pany lately. I’m so glad to have found his instruc­tional DVD, where he talks with his old man charm about what he likes in each song and how to play them, phrase by phrase. I grew my thumb­nail out nice and long for nearly two months, cut it off for practicality’s sake dur­ing wed­ding sea­son, then imme­di­ately regret­ted the deci­sion. The elec­tric strings I’ve been using have a really flat, dull tone in the lower reg­is­ter, and since the bass line is so impor­tant in Chet’s arrange­ments, it’s like an entire part is miss­ing from any song I try to learn. I’m going to try learn­ing with a thumb pick, which is some­thing I’ve been avoid­ing for a while now cause I hate the loss of sen­si­tiv­ity (like a con­dom on your thumb), but hope­fully the com­pro­mise is worth it.

I have things to orga­nize, chores to do, errands to run, and a house to clean before I leave. For now, I’ll enjoy the rest of the morn­ing, wast­ing time.

happy child

The sum­mer started unevent­fully, with a mix of rainy weather and cold nights. I long for after­noons in the bright sun, Lou Reed dur­ing his Velvet Underground years croon­ing to me over small speak­ers, with noth­ing bet­ter to do than wip­ing the con­den­sa­tion off a cold drink. It’s a life that doesn’t seem far away, and yet a life I never imag­ine mak­ing for myself. I always think it’ll just hap­pen some day, that things will fall into place if I can take care of every­thing else.

Friday Night Magic

It’s okay to be OCD about how your cards are orga­nized as long as every­one else is.

Aaron has me over for din­ner every week with Karen and the two kids. It’s a rit­ual he has yet to break, even though he told me he didn’t want it to be a cal­en­dar event when I asked him if we could do some­thing on a reg­u­lar basis1. Every Wednesday he leaves work early to let me in the house, and makes up the time by work­ing longer hours on other days, a sac­ri­fice that means more to me than he’ll ever under­stand, and some­thing I never had to ask him to do. It’s nice to be able to look for­ward to reg­u­lar plans, and some­thing I share only with him that makes me feel like I belong.

About as often are Magic nights with Trolley and Steph, and these invari­ably include some­thing deli­cious for din­ner, when Steph takes the culi­nary arts to a whole new level. They take care of me with food and con­ver­sa­tion and booster packs that they never let me pay for. I’m sure I owe a great deal of my san­ity to them, when Magic was the only thing that took my mind off the fact that every­thing fell apart.

pretty wolf

Nobody fucks Pretty Wolf.

In between are things less fre­quent, but no less impor­tant. Musical projects with Jesse or Seth that give me the kind of goals and pur­pose I’ve been look­ing for. Sessions with Lisa, when we get to share the things we don’t share with any­one else. Hangouts with Tiana to debrief on our ever-changing lives, and to give each other advice or a pair of ears. Dinners with Heather G when I need my dose of opti­mism and adven­tur­ism. Not to men­tion the peo­ple who send me mes­sages of check up on how I’m doing when they can’t be here for me physically.

big dog and two girls

HOW ARE YOU SO BIG

It feels strange to be busy again. To be pro­duc­tive, and social, and to need days off when I’m not even employed.

Not that it’s been an attempt to stay occu­pied; more like mak­ing sure my needs are being met. That I have ful­fill­ing rela­tion­ships that pro­vide me with what I need, involv­ing peo­ple who make me feel hope­ful and worth­while and con­nected and nur­tured and pro­tected and sat­is­fied and accepted and under­stood and val­i­dated and loved and con­fi­dent and safe and in control.

  1. Only because it’s some­thing he wanted to keep casual, where nei­ther per­son felt any pres­sure. []

booster draft

Today, I got to intro­duce some very good friends to each other. Everyone got along famously, although it couldn’t have gone any other way with these guys.

It was the first booster draft for three of us. I was mas­sa­cred in every game, and didn’t have any less fun los­ing to such great sports.

Magic: The Gathering booster draft

Two Innistrad and two Dark Ascension. Oh what glit­ter­ing golden sym­bols lie beneath these wrappers.

Unfortunately, noth­ing inter­ested me when we were pick­ing out rares1, so I got noth­ing for the deck I’m cur­rently build­ing, and no direc­tion for a sec­ond deck. But as Aaron said, even if you lose, it’s cheaper than a night of poker. Sometimes you lose it on the river, some­times you draw 13 con­sec­u­tive lands, and some­times you OH GOD WHY ARE MY CREATURES DEAD ARGHGHHGHGH LETS PLAY AGAIN.

  1. And there wasn’t a sin­gle green rare — exactly what I was look­ing for — out of 17 rares. I have no idea what the chances are on that, but I know they’re not big. []